Thursday, July 3, 2014

Teacher at Heart

"Go line up at the door...I mean, go to the back door, let's get going." I was obviously still in "teacher-mode" when summer started and I told my son to go line up at the door. Do teachers ever really get out of teacher-mode? I have decided to take the plunge and leave teaching for a few years to raise our family. However, I don't think the teacher in me will ever truly leave, and in fact, while I plan on returning to the profession one day, I will always be a teacher at heart.

 Lately I feel like all I have heard in the news about education is "We need to change this about schools," or "look at what horrible acts this teacher did," or "our education system is faulty because...". So, while this may be one small blog post, I am here to start a change of attitude about why I LOVE the teaching profession and why I will ALWAYS be a teacher at heart.

 Reasons I love the teaching profession:
1. The connections I make with students. I will miss talking with the student who loved dinosaurs, or the girl who dreamed to play soccer for team USA in the Olympics, or the boy who proudly turned in his homework for 3 weeks in a row (his best record yet!). Honestly, I was so lucky. I saw 25 smiling faces every day (ok maybe they weren't always smiling), but I got to greet and interact with a diverse amount of people each day. People who I cared for and rooted for and wished only the best. These people were my students, and it was a privilege to be their teacher.
2. The light-bulb moment. You all know what I am talking about, but I'll explain anyway. It feels like you have taught long division for weeks and gone over all the different strategies. Then, finally, the student who has struggled all along says, "I think I get it!" You do a happy dance and several extra problems to check for understanding (for the umptenth time) and realize, they really do have it! You taught someone something they didn't know, something that will help them be successful. You made a difference. I will miss this moment. 
3. Teaching students to solve real life problems. Teaching 6th grade can be tough, not only does the curriculum seem daunting, but the emotions run high. It always made me sad to see students I knew were friends, fighting and ending friendships that could have been saved. Helping students solve problems and work through situations was sometimes the best part of the day. I enjoyed teaching life lessons, helping kids know that it's ok to disagree, and still be friends. Life is hard, but it's a game we all play.
4. My colleagues and friends. Truly, they are friends first. I am going to miss my lunch break. I loved chatting with the other teachers at lunch. This was the time to unwind and discuss our day. How was reading going? Where are you in math? I enjoyed every second of lunch (who doesn't?). It was like I was going out to lunch on a daily basis, but really I was just having a PB&J.
5. New school supplies. So, I realize this is kind of a weird reason to love my profession. But, it turns out, I LOVE shopping for school supplies. I also feel like somewhat of a hero when I find a 24 box of Crayola Crayons for 25 cents. Or when I can buy colored folders for 1 cent because there is an awesome ad in the paper. School supply shopping is thrilling, and I am going to have some withdrawals this August.
 6. Teaching is NEVER boring. If a teacher is bored, they are doing something wrong. Each day was exciting, each day was something new, and while we had routine, being flexible was a motto I used daily.

 I will ALWAYS be a teacher at heart. Just because I don't have a colorful, organized classroom, filled with 25-30 smiling faces, doesn't mean I can't be a teacher. My mom told me I was born to be a teacher. I can't imagine myself any other way. My teaching will live on! Whether it is in how I raise my family, the products I sell, or the blogs I post, I will always be a teacher at heart.

 Why do you love teaching? Why will you always be a teacher at heart? Respond in the comments below!

 Visit my store {here} for some fabulous resources!


8 comments:

  1. Many of us are struggling with the decision to stay or leave the classroom. Like you, everyone in my family knew I would be a teacher. After an initial career for 10 years, I eventually made it into the classroom and now, 15 years later, I find myself wrestling with whether or not I made the right choice, but I love being a teacher. I am a teacher. Your post was very refreshing to read, thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you Alisa! Don't ever look back, teaching is an opportunity not many people get a chance to have. Your students are lucky to have you!

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  2. I understand about leaving to put family first. I just decided to leave after 25 years in the classroom so I could go across the country to be with my daughter for the birth of my grandson. I needed to be in Seattle for at least a month, and could not get unpaid leave, so I had to return my contract unsigned. I think we have to keep our priorities straight, and I know you did the right thing. Family must come before the job, but you will always be a teacher at heart, and so will I. :) Best wishes!

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    1. Deborah, I am so happy you are able to be with your daughter for the birth of your grandson! I am so happy my mom was there for me on that once in a lifetime opportunity. Good luck with your new adventures, you are an excellent teacher, and always will be!

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  3. I left full time teaching when my second son was born. Then 2 years later I had a third son. Once they were all in school I subbed a few days a week to stay in the loop with what was happening in my profession. Last year I decided it was time to go back full time. The boys are now 18,16 & 14. I love being back in the classroom but it was all about timing. I am glad I made the decision to go back, but I wouldn't trade the time I spent with my boys for anything. I did still miss a few of the little things...like being the one picking them up from school and hearing about their day, but now we just do that over dinner. You can never get the time back with your little ones..or big ones for me know...but teaching will always be there. Quite honestly, aren't we teaching our own children everyday through their life lessons. These often times are every bit as important as what they learn in the classroom. Good luck on your new endeavor.

    ~Laura
    Luv My Kinders

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    1. Laura, you give me hope that I can one day return! I am glad you were able to be home with your boys, and are able to teach again. I agree, the lessons learned at home are just as important as the ones in the classroom :)

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  4. If teaching is your passion Teresa, you will find your way back to the classroom. I applaud you for making your own family a priority. I've been a teacher for 17 years. I've had to leave the classroom a couple times due to unexpected plot twist in life. My teaching roles have changed at times but even when I wasn't officially teaching, opportunities presented themselves for me to use my educator/facilitator/encourager gifts. Though I love being a teacher, balancing school and home life have always been a challenge. I have discovered that there will always be classrooms of children to teach, but your own children will grow up when you're not looking. Enjoy this season of teaching with your own children!

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  5. Rhonda, thank you for your encouraging words! I love that you call what we have as educators a gift. It really is, and we can use the gift throughout our lives in the various places we find ourselves. Thanks for your comment!

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