Before I even get started, let me just say that I am even more surprised than you at this revelation.
I remember typing them at all hours of the night while drinking a glass of red, that’s for sure.
In hindsight, was I happy teaching at that particular school? No.
Was my unhappiness coming from the fact that I was a teacher? Also no.
I was living in a beautiful home with a wonderful friend and had a salaried job with benefits at the age of 24.
I woke up every morning and went to a job with a purpose and got off at the same time everyday, had vacation days, and summers off, and I was complaining about it.
And now I want it back.
Before you say, “I told you so,” let me just hold my hand up real quick and say don’t.
- It’s rude.
- No, you didn’t.
Since moving to Virginia last June and since working with the company I currently do marketing for and teach with, I have learned so much about what it is to actually be a teacher and to enjoy it.
For starters, the students that I teach are a wonderful mix of kids from varying backgrounds and ethnicities all with the thirst for knowledge and capacity to expand their minds.
They’re excited and motivated, and it makes me feel excited and motivated.
Secondly, my team that I work with is comprised of all female (GIRL POWER) powerhouses who love theatre, education, and making a difference in the mind of a young child.
I realized I love those things too.
Thirdly, I feel supported, not only by my colleagues and boss, but by the families of the kiddies that I teach.
Having a community can work wonders, I tell you.
Sometimes I feel angry that I didn’t have the necessary resources I needed to make my first year of a teaching a successful one. Other times, I beat myself up for thinking that because theatre can happen anywhere.
But I didn’t even have a classroom, you guys.
Like, no classroom.
No budget for a play.
No support from my administration.
And that took it’s toll on me over time. I was mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted, and towards the end, I stopped caring.
About the outcome of the year. About my paperwork. About my hair.
I loved my students.
Did they annoy me at times? Of course they did.
Did they always learn their lines? Of course they did not.
But did they learn something from me? Have fun? Smile? Laugh? Ask questions? Get excited? Engage in conversations? Grow?
And did I learn from them?
An even bigger yes.
I’m very new to the teaching world. Very, very new. Like newer than a baby born five seconds ago. But I know that this is something that I’m good at.
Somehow. I am somehow good at this.
Some days are long and tedious and I feel like my face is going to melt off and I leave feeling defeated and uninspired.
But some days are wonderful, full of knowledge and love and growth and magical moments that I know these kids will remember.
Because I used to be that kid.
And at this time in our society when we all need to strive to make a positive change, in my heart I know that starts with children.
So here I am asking myself what I’m running from when it comes to teaching.
THE HEALTH CARE. I HATE INSURANCE!
…But really. What am I running from?
Am I afraid of lesson plans? Commitment? Being responsible for what these kids learn and what they don’t?
This kept me up until midnight last night. Not even Tina Fey and M&Ms can do that, so I know it has to be important. #grandma
Fellow teachers out there, do you have any advice for me? Words of encouragement? Why are you a teacher and what keeps you teaching?
Also, do you like M&Ms? Want to be best friends?