Saturday, August 16, 2008

25 Years...

It is incredibly hard to believe I am starting my 25th year in the world of education and my 10th year in District One!

It seems like yesterday, my Volkswagen Beetle pulled out of the driveway in Union headed for Sumter, SC. I cried all the way there. I was scared to death! My first year of teaching is really a blur these days. I taught right across the street from Shaw AFB. My classroom was a portable and every time they did F16 maneuvers overhead my portable would literally shake! My salary on paper for the first year was $12,000! Much of that went to rent...$350 a month...that was alot 25 years ago....because the Air Force was willing to pay lots of $$$ for housing AF personnel, rent was really steep in Sumter! I made some great friends that first year and they were so much fun and taught me how to be a really good teacher. They were all dedicated veteran teachers and I will always be grateful for teaching me the ropes! My second year was also spent in Sumter. I roomed with the chorus teacher and now my life long friend Andi. We had so much fun! Now she has a son at Wofford, so we have been able to reconnect a little.

Towards the end of my second year, I heard there would be two band positions opening up in Spartanburg District 3. I quickly sent my application and interviewed for the positions at Cowpens and Pacolet Jr. the time, I wanted the job at Pacolet, but the Lord chose Cowpens and the rest is history. I spent 13 great years in District 3. The best thing about Cowpens was meeting two of my best friends, Gayle and Tammy. The faculty at Cowpens was really a family and I loved every minute I was there. We ALWAYS had fun! The last 2 years at Cowpens, I began to work on my counseling degree. I would leave band practice three days a week and go to class. It was a long two years but well worth it!

In 1998, I went to Gable Middle School to teach a careers class. This would allow me to also be a counseling intern with Tracy. I only worked here for a year. In order to complete a 1000 hour internship, I would have to find a school district willing to hire me without a counseling degree so I could complete the intern hours on the job. This was a TALL order, but I stepped out on faith and didn't sign my contract and waited. Towards the end of July, I heard Spartanburg District One was hiring four counselors! I interviewed with three principals, the last being Cathy Bird. The bond was instant. As I drove over the bridge at Lake Bowen, I asked the Lord for the job and He answered my prayers beyond whatever I could have hoped for. It was such a joy and privilege to work with Cathy and I learned so much from her. The faculty at NPE became an extension of my family. They are an awesome faculty. It was a tough decision to leave there two years ago, but I knew the Lord had another chapter to write. The first year at Inman Intermediate was one I will never forget. It was history I would not have chosen to write for anyone, but the Lord is faithful and He helped us through it. Our precious Missie is back at work and is teaching us daily about what it means to walk through seemingly impossible circumstances with faith in our Great God.

Thank you for allowing me this walk down memory lane. Teaching has many rewards. I know I complain about it alot sometimes, but it is a great profession. Teachers have the power to change and shape lives of the children they teach every day. It is not a profession for the faint of heart! It takes great courage to face that classroom of children each day. I am proud to be an educator.


Kimberly said...

Congrats!!...25 years is a long time to love your job. I am sure that anyone who has been a student of yours has truly been blessed.

KJA said...

Thank Yo JU-JU. I know you are a wonderful person and great teacher. My hat is off to you for the service you do in our schools. I know I rib you a little about the summers off just for fun and because I can! Hehe! Love lots and Thanks.

Megie said...

Congratulations Julie, for 25 years as an educator.

I know you are a wonderful person and a wonderful teacher because I have seen that first hand at AMRBC. You have really taught me so much about worship and I am truly grateful for that.

I hope this year will be a wonderful year for you. My prayers will be with all of you tomorrow.

Have a blessed week.