Friday, June 5, 2015


It has been such a long time.  So much has happened.

Spring was tough as it was decided, for various reasons, I could not tell my students, goodbye, let them know I wouldn't be their teacher next year, nor even that they would be attending a different school because some of them will stress all summer about the changes.  So, as the final weeks came and went, I had meetings with parents, let them know I would not be returning, and collected all my personal belongings from the class.

As I packed  my personal items, the adults "side talked" (having conversations with each other that we want the kids to hear) about my classroom being used over the summer, and how I had to take everything down and bring home all my personal items.  The kids seemed to believe us and helped with the packing.

Normally, when packing, my OCD takes over, and only like items are put in boxes; outside of boxes labeled with all items in the box!  As my things were boxed up, I did a great job of letting go.  My husband helped one weekend, as I pulled things out of cupboards and placed them on tables.  Things on this table go home, and on that table stay.

The only thing common with what is in any one box is that it was in my classroom.  I continued this process as my assistants and students helped me pack -- these go home, these stay.

I have my work cut out for me this summer! Our guest bedroom is a mass of boxes, milk-crates, and sterilite plastic draws of all sizes.

So, what am I going to do while I'm on my Personal Leave, well, when I'm not assisting my mom?

Even though my husband has said I do not have to work outside of the home, I have to have some money coming it.  It is not my nature to not work.  I have been employed outside the home since I was 18 years old!

I was going to work at the equine assisted therapy center, but I realized that, with my mom, I really need something that will allow me to set my own hours.

I could reopen my Etsy shop - I was doing well at it and with proper advertising, I could make it work.

There is always Direct Sales - I did that, and I didn't like it.  I never worked so hard in my life for so little profit. It isn't for me.  Too many times I'd coach the hostess, who would tell me she had all these people coming, and then the night of the show, only one person would come.  I rarely had show totals that equaled what the company advertised as an "average" show.  I want to set my own prices, my own hours, my own business.

I could tutor - but one of the requests from my husband is that, what ever I do, I work similar hours as he.  Unless I arrange to tutor only home school kiddos, tutoring would be nights and weekends.

Then it dawned on me.  When in Minnesota, I took a class for grant writing and as a result of the course, I wrote grants:  for my classroom; other teachers' classes; as well as a couple grants that were for use between the alternative schools.  I was good at it: of the 10 grants I wrote, I was awarded 9 of them.

I did research on free lance grant writing and non-profits will pay for grant writing and, "If you are good, you can charge $100 an hour."    So, I have spent the spring re-educating myself on grant writing, finding out the differences between educational grant writing and non-profit grant writing.  I will be taking a grant writing class June 18 & 19.

I have been spreading the word.  I have been told by many people, "If you are good at it, you can write your own ticket."  I don't know how my 9 out of 10 success rate of educational grants will compare to non-profit grant writing, but we will see.

When school got out, I got busy:  I have been working on a business plan, hired an accountant, and continued to get the word out.  I have to build my portfolio by writing grants for free, or pro bono.

I want write between 3 and 5 grants before I start charging.  I am sitting at 2 non-profits, and a classroom.  I have one more non-profit I need to touch base with.

One of the non-profits has stated that, if they are happy with me, they would like to hire me for future grants.

So, here I go, on my next big adventure.  Don't know if I'll become good enough to charge $100 an hour, or to be able to "write my own ticket", but we will see.


Gracey is not my name.... said...

How sad not to be able to say goodbye, but I understand why...because I teach in a very poor district, many of our students start to deregulate the weeks before is their safe place, the place they know they will be fed and will receive attention and love...I tell people all the time, the lives some of our kids lead would make your heart break...good luck on your new venture!

Fiber Jewels said...

I agree - but to be able to tell them goodbye, possible for ever, would have been for me, and not best for them! The things my kiddos dealt with and still dealing with would cause most adults to crumble. Excited, scared, happy, worried, etc. about my new adventure!