Friday, August 24, 2012

What I Want To Be When I Grow Up

This week's guest blogger is Shelby (Fisher) Hurst, a proud native of Fairfax, wife, teacher, and momma-to-be.  If you don't know Shelby, you just have to read this and you'll be delighted she chose to come back home!

I never went through the phases of wanting to be different things when I grew up, like a princess, a doctor, or a fire fighter. There was only one thing I wanted to be and that was a teacher. I would play school and I never was just “a teacher”, I was a teacher at Fairfax R3. When asked what I wanted to do when I grew up I would proudly state “I want to come back and be a teacher here.”

When I met my husband, a Tarkio Indian, he thought my love of Fairfax was endearing. I was finishing my last year at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Missouri. I had plans of moving home after I completed the year and student teaching in Atchison County, first pick being my hometown. I had been a substitute teacher in the district for two years and my love of the school and its bright staff only grew.

I was excited and nervous when I found out that I would be student teaching at grand old Fairfax, for first and third grade. I got to know the students, new faculty, and community in a way I never had before, through the eyes of an educator. Every morning I would report to the school, taking on as many responsibilities as I could to get the full effect.

In December of 2011 I graduated with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Early Childhood. I also got married on New Years Eve to Brett, the same man who was learning just how passionate I was about my little town. (I think he sometimes questioned which I loved more, him or Fairfax.)

I started working at Tarkio Elementary in January as a Teacher’s Aide. Soon my husband and I found out we were expecting! I thought of all the struggles a first year teacher wades through and worried about juggling it with being a first time mother. My husband and I prayed about it and decided if I was going to work God would have to put my dream job in my hands, otherwise I’d be taking a year off as a teacher and on as a full time mommy.

Time went by and it looked like I would be filling my days with diapers and feedings, instead of math lessons and grading. However, in June I was surprised to find out that Fairfax had a job opening for fifth grade. This was the opportunity my family had been praying for, a way to be at the school I cherished. The only question was whether this was God giving me a ‘green’ light. My husband and I decided I needed to take the jump. So I jumped and was hired as Fairfax R3 fifth grade teacher. A bulldog once more!

My summer quickly went from baby preparations to classroom preparations. I started tackling my classroom, lesson plans, and all the duties that started filling my days as a teacher. On August 13th I had my first day with all the other teachers. I became a sponge for their knowledge.

Before I knew it, the first day of school was here! As the students filed into our classroom I began my first day as a real Fairfax R3 teacher. What a day it was! The first three half days flew by in a blur of classroom expectations, getting to know you activities, and birthdays (there were three in the first week!). As I left that Friday night to head to the park for the Fairfax Fair I couldn’t believe how blessed I was to be starting on the journey I’d dreamed of since I was a little girl; a journey I would get to travel for thirty years. However, I guess this journey started the first time someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. A journey that will go hand in hand with raising a new little bulldog!

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