Sunday, January 22, 2023

Happy 2023

Hello! It's certainly been a while. I hope you're doing well. Usually, since I launched this blog a little over four years ago, I've been in the habit of writing a "Happy New Year" post in which I review and reflect on the previous year. I've been a little behind in this, and am first really starting to catch up now, both with this post and with some other tasks and goals I wish to complete for this blog.

Looking back on 2022, it was a very exciting, adventurous, and rewarding year for me, on a variety of levels. Let's dive in.

To begin, I spent all of 2022 rediscovering and growing in my Roman Catholic faith after a very powerful conversion experience in December 2021. You can read why I'm Catholic, my battles with demonic harassment, and prayers that I've composed. As a part of my faith journey, I began teaching Sunday catechism to a group of fourth and fifth graders this past fall at my parish (church), and I also participate in a variety of adult formation programs at my parish, as well.

Back in mid-February, I left my full-time position as a special education paraprofessional at a middle/high school in order to work as a substitute educator again. I absolutely love it. As a sub, I do both teaching and paraprofessional work, and, minus a few days here and there for appointments or being sick, I've managed to work every day as a sub since mid-February. I've become a full-time professional sub, which is usually pretty rare to see, as many work part-time or hardly at all (they may be retired, have other jobs, etc.). But as I explain in this comprehensive guide I put together on how to become a substitute teacher or paraprofessional, these are unique, strange times for the world of K-12 education. There's a shortage of subs, a shortage of new education majors and student teachers coming up through the ranks, and a mass exodus of full-time seasoned staff from the profession. All of these factors, combined, have made available subs that much more valuable. Pay and other incentives are getting very competitive between districts and schools, and I'm spending most of the 2022-2023 school year in long-term gigs. Again, I'm absolutely loving it. I'm very blessed and grateful to be receiving calls all the time from teachers, paraprofessionals, school offices, and even principals and district-level staff wondering if I'm available to sub. Very blessed and grateful. There's no shortage of work and opportunity.

From January through August, I had the wonderful honor and privilege to work with a young man, a seventh grader, with Down Syndrome, providing respite care services to he and his family. We would go out for lunch/dinner or ice cream (we both love Culver's!), go to nearby parks, play in his yard, read, color, visit and learn about various community resources, and shoot hoops in his driveway. And while I would occasionally teach him some basic life skills, the learning was definitely a two-way street, with me learning a lot from him. I'm grateful to still be in touch with he and his family from time to time.

I didn't travel much during the year. And while it's definitely not the Key West, Florida trip I took the previous summer (2021), I did visit Door County, Wisconsin for the first time in many years, back in August. Also in August, I got to experience Appleton, Wisconsin a little bit when I traveled there for a cousin's wedding. Both trips were very nice.

In fall, I met my girlfriend, a fifth grade teacher. She is truly wonderful, and I'm more than blessed to have her in my life.

And in December, I turned 40. The big 4-0. Wow. I'm very grateful to have celebrated with family, neighbors, friends, and my wonderful girlfriend, and it was awesome to reconnect with several old college buddies. We vowed to keep in better touch.

Well, that's largely my 2022, in a nutshell. How was your year? I'd love to hear all about it! Feel free to share in the comments section below.

Wishing you and yours a healthy, joy-filled, and prosperous 2023! Thank you so much for your continued readership and support! God bless!

All the Best,


Mr. Robertson

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