Dig through your couch cushions, your purse, or the floor of your car and look at the year printed on the first coin you find. What were you doing that year?
The penny is no longer being accepted here and that is sad. Anyone of a certain age remembers that pennies were something worth holding on to because it didn’t take many to add up to a treat at the store. They do weigh down your pockets and purses, true enough, but I still wish they were going to remain in circulation.
The penny I first came across today was from 2003. What a year that was!
In 2003, I was finishing up my time at college so that I could return to work as a teaching assistant. My children were 10 and 13 so I was juggling their schedules and mine with considerable help from my hubby but also from the community of stay-at-home moms I had been friends with for several years. I loved being in school but I still wanted to be around for each and every moment that I could with the children. It was a tough year because my dad’s cancer was stubbornly taking a hold on his body. I wanted nothing more than to drop everything and go west to help him, but he would have none of that.
The spring saw me graduate from college with my hubby and children cheering (loudly) from the audience. It was the year of SARS so as I crossed the stage, no one could shake my hand to congratulate me – it was an awkward ceremony at times due to the fact that many social conventions were disallowed.
June saw Kyle graduate from middle school and Laura from elementary school – it was the year of the graduates!
I started supply work in April and shortly after was when, in my very first week of a long-term contract, a student punched me. I remember thinking, “What am I doing this for again?” but didn’t leave work or even tell Tim about it until later that day when we were taking a family trip to Montreal. I was afraid one or both of us would think I should quit!
In the fall, I started part-time at a school just on the other side of the highway where I could drop the kids at school in the morning and then go on to work. It was not the best year of the last ten, but I certainly met some amazing teachers there.
2003 was a big year of change – and every year since has been the same. I have done both special needs and behaviour work since then. There have been times when I have questioned my career choice – and then a day, or a moment, will happen, when the light comes into a student’s eyes because they get “it” – whatever that “it” is – and I know that it is all worth it, all important and all valuable.