Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Teaching Second Grade

When I was little, I learned how to be very creative in order to entertain myself as an only child.  I pretended that my dolls and stuffed animals had “come to life” and I gave them their own individual personalities.  I lined them up, taught them school lessons, graded their work, and wrote detailed report card comments for each of them.  I literally did this for hours, not even wanting to stop to eat or go to bed.  I just wanted to “play school”.  I guess you could say that I was born a teacher.  Or weird.

Later in life, I realized that being a teacher was not going to make me a lot of money.  It wasn’t going to be an easy nine-to-five job where you get to take long lunch breaks and pretend to be working at your desk when you are actually just wasting time and watching the clock.  I found out that it takes a lot more to be a good teacher.  It requires working long hours that you don’t get paid for, taking work home with you regularly, and being highly enthusiastic/focused on your students the entire day.  It depletes most of your time and energy. You won’t always get the recognition or respect that you deserve.  But you ARE helping people and making a difference in all of those students’ lives.  And to me, that is worth much more than a high salary or a status symbol any day.

Some people “work to live” while others “live to work”.  Everyone has different values, and that is understandable.  But there are some people who hate their jobs, yet continue to live each day being miserable and complaining rather than actively pursuing something that could make them happy.  I know that there are not a lot of options in the job market today, but surely everyone can at least find a hobby or charity that they are passionate about.  Whatever you personally find rewarding should play a large role in your life.  I most highly value my family, friends, and my relationship with God.  I also find fulfillment in small hobbies and simple everyday things.  I’m blessed to have chosen a career that has been extremely rewarding for me throughout the past four years. 

I really miss being a second grade teacher: the students, the daily classroom routines, and teaching my reading groups.  (When I tell Ryan to use his "context clues” he just stares at me with big blue eyes).  I especially miss the other teachers at my old school.  Over time, we became more than just co-workers, but also friends who care about each other.  This was shown today when three of my old teammates stopped by for a visit.  As we sat there talking, I felt like I could go back to work tomorrow and pick up right where I left off.  But, at the same time, it feels like years and years have passed between then and now.  I guess chemo really does make each month feel like a year.  It’s hard to believe that just last year, life was completely normal.  I know that I will go back to teaching eventually.  I just don’t know when, where, or what position.  I trust that things always do work out for the best and according to God’s plan for my life.

I want to thank P, B, and J for taking the time out of your day to drive all the way down to see me and Ryan!  I am very appreciative of the staff members who wrote me thoughtful cards and included gift cards to some of my favorite (yummy!) places.  I don’t even work there anymore, and these ladies continue to show their compassion and love towards me.  That is definitely exceptional characterThank you all for making me still feel like part of the elementary school family!

It was great to catch up with my old second grade team!  Such pretty teachers!  <3

1 comment:

  1. That's so great that you got to visit with them! You totally were born to be a teacher and a mom, and I love it! I am so glad you are able to do what you are passionate about (even if you are taking a break from it now, you will be back there soon!). Not everyone gets to say that! Haha, I laughed at the part about Ryan and the context clues, haha:).


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