Thursday, July 12, 2012

Teacher of the Year... and why we're back in AZ

As many of our friends and family know, we moved back home to Arizona rather abruptly last August. Andy and I had been feeling that we needed to be closer to family. We prayed continually for a chance to move West, not even Arizona, just the other side of the Mississippi River. About three weeks after Eden was born, Andy sent an e-mail to his old colleagues at the high school he taught at in Arizona, announcing the birth of our baby girl. Not long after he got an e-mail from the principal which basically said, "Funny you should e-mail, our math teacher just quit, what do we need to do to get you to come back?" Andy initially thought it a joke. But it wasn't. He really struggled with the idea and even more, telling me. So, he called me from work and asked what I thought. At first, I kinda panicked and just asked for some time to think it over. I was in the parking lot at the car place about to get our car serviced. My first thought was, "There's no way at all." I couldn't imagine going back to a teacher's salary, with no health insurance. But, then as I sat waiting for my car to get worked on, I thought of my husband, how miserable he was at his job in Mississippi. Andy's undergrad degree is in Mathematics, his Masters is in Civil Engineering, oddly enough he wasn't using a whole lot of either working for the Army Corps of Engineers. That killed him. So, as I thought of this, my heart softened and 20 minutes later I called him back and told him to take the job. That was a Friday. He didn't have to give the high school an answer until Monday, so he suggested we pray about it all weekend. We did. He e-mailed the principal back and forth negotiating a contract. On a side note, a few months prior we were online looking at structural engineering firms in Arizona, we happened to find one in our little town and the owner happened to be a BYU graduate. So, as we prayed all weekend and the prospect of moving back home became clearer and clearer to us, we also considered the possible future opportunities with this firm. So, within two weeks our little family (Andy, me, Ava, Jax and our five-week-old Eden) was back in AZ. To say that Heavenly Father provided a way for us is an understatement. We were blessed beyond belief with the opportunities afforded us and the doors that opened for us at just the right time during the whole process. Our gratitude and testimonies were truly magnified.

Andy returned to the high school where he used to work only to find they hadn't had a stable math teacher since he left. He was needed there. And he fell right back into it naturally. He really is an amazing teacher and I don't just say that as his wife, I hear it from his colleagues, students and the Teacher of the Year Committee. My man was a Teacher of the Year finalist. How amazing is that?! He won $250 to use in his classroom this year and we got a special night out when he was honored at a banquet. After the banquet was over, one of the Committee Co-Chairs, a sweet elderly gentleman, came up to ME and said, "Your husband is truly special. I thought you should know that while interviewing a student I asked her about Mr. Kleinman and she said, 'He's the best teacher I've ever had. He makes me like math. I wish I could take him with me next year to college.'" Andy needed to hear that his students really do appreciate him and I needed to hear it so I can remind him. So, Andy is back teaching and making teenagers actually enjoy math. BUT....

 At the Teacher of the Year Banquet

In March the ward boundaries in our stake (church) were realigned. The above-mentioned-engineer just happens to be in our ward. He e-mailed Andy and asked if they could get together to talk. Turns out, he needed Andy AND on a side note, in college Andy received an academic scholarship, the man who provided that scholarship just happened to go to school with this engineer. Small world. Anywho, they worked it out and Andy has been working at the engineering firm full-time all summer and will continue working there part-time during the school year.

The decision to move back was a hard one. It was truly a leap of faith. We are so grateful to have taken that leap and have been blessed beyond words as a result. We're so grateful to be back home, near family. We're grateful Andy has two jobs doing his two favorite things: math and structural engineering. We are so happy.

3 comments:

All these Halls said...

congrats to Andy...for not only getting teacher of the year award, but for having such a hot wife. You look great Becky!

Erin said...

thank you, thank you for posting this! This was really encouraging for me to read as someone who is far from home and praying that someday, somehow, someway, the blessing of living close to family and working a job the hubby loves will be realized. You gave me hope, Bekah! Thank you! And you look SOOOO good in that little red dress! Miss you and the kids!

shelly said...

I'm glad your computer is working again and I'm so happy to hear an update, especially concerning the job front. How wonderful that everything is working out for you in that regard! Good for Andy all around - he's sure a smart guy and I'm so happy he's found a combination of jobs that make him feel fulfilled. You guys deserve the best!