KnowledgeCornerstone » Ramblings from an educator and life-long learner

Teaching is like giving birth

When you leave the classroom you forget how hard teaching really is.  After a 5 year break from being in the classroom (I was still in education, just not as a teacher with a list of students), I know why they passion burns to be educating young minds.  It is like giving birth, it is difficult and painful when you are in the middle of it, but in the end you have such a sweet reward.  And you forget.  The summer comes and time is spent on new ideas and new lesson plans.  Only to start over again in the fall.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE teaching!  I love being in the classroom as a teacher AND student.  I am one of those people that could just be a student forever.  When I left the classroom, it was not because I was “finished” with teaching, a unique opportunity presented itself that I needed to take.  I missed being in the classroom though.  And I told anyone that would listen, if you ever lose the desire to teach, you need to leave education.

Going back after 5 years is not easy though.  I might as well be a first year teacher.  When I left the classroom, iPhones had not been introduced and iPads/tablets were still just a dream.  Although I was showing teachers how to use these things, implementing them is a different story!

Today, I struggle with getting my feet wet with the material I am teaching.  I will be glad to have a year under my so I can use it to build a strong solid foundation next year.  I have so many ideas, but just getting through a weeks worth of lesson plans is all consuming right now.

But I am still so excited to be teaching again!

Post inspired by What I Forgot When I Left the Classroom (Part One)

The Start of School Awesomeness!

I cannot put into words how I felt today.  It really was like I was a Disney World, that is how excited I was all day.  These are a few random thoughts from today.

I had the privilege of meeting about 75 bright and shiny smiling faces today!

My morning began with the headmaster leading a group of 8th graders in prayer during homeroom.  My face hurts from smiling and my head hurts from trying to wrap my brain around the fact that there are schools out there, like this, that are “old school” when it comes to procedures and philosophies.  I truly admire the parents for knowing what they want in their child’s education and seeking it out.

And then there is the staff.  Like almost all the teachers I know, they are excellent at what they do.  The difference is, at Calvary, the teacher is the expert (not the state) and does what is best for the student.  Novel concept.  I am seriously having a hard time keeping my creativity from exploding everywhere.  My team leader is awesome.  Everything I ask, she just blows it off…”Of course you can do that!”

The headmaster went around and took pictures of each new student and sent an email to the parents with a short message about their child’s day at Calvary.  I obviously received 2 emails and in both, the girls have huge grins.

My room is getting there.  It will be a work in progress for the next few weeks.  🙂

Judy Curtis - Oh, to work with Malcolm again. Wishing you the best school year ever, October. I loved my job in technology but there is nothing like a room of students and I always missed that. Waited to long to go back so I’ll live it through you.

Tell Malcolm I said hello and that I miss his smiles and wisdom.

My New Job

If you did not catch my latest announcement, I am going back to the classroom…well “little people” classroom…since I adjunct at HBU in the evenings I never really left.

I will be teaching middle school science at Calvary Episcopal School.

I have to pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming.  Well, ok, with as much stuff as I have going on right now, that is not really true.  I know I am not dreaming. RIGHT NOW I am living in this whirlwind that I wish would slow down for a minute so I can catch my breath and really enjoy the journey I am about to embark on.

Being ecstatic does not begin to describe how I feel.  Sometimes I think I am in teacher heaven.

When I entered education 12 years ago, I was so excited to spread my creative wings and watch little light bulbs going off in students.  But there were many times that I felt like Icarus getting too close to the sun.  My first year of teaching (like most) was not easy.  I wish there was a way to enter education with 3 years of experience and children of your own.  It would have made things SOOOOO much easier.  I am not sure how many times I heard, “You will understand when you have children of your own.”  Of course I could sympathize, but not empathize. Not until now.

Every experience I had in the classroom was a learning one.  Oh, if I could go back in time…  But isn’t that what makes us a better person?  Or mistakes, as long as you learn from them?

I feel like I have gotten a second chance at teaching.  I have wanted to go back many times, but it just was not the RIGHT time.  Now it is.  I have strapped on my wings again but this time they are made of steel and not wax.  The sky is the limit!

I have 2 windows in my room!  I also need to add that ironically I am in a room that once belonged to a VERY special friend’s mom.

Mandy Casey - We are beyond excited to have you. You may feel like you hit the school jackpot, but we feel like we hit the teacher jackpot!

Why I will NOT be homeschooling next year

Yes, I know. The thing I have dreamed about…that I have been so excited this least year about doing once my dream finally came true. Well, that dream has slowly dissolved, but I am ok with it.

Few people know my job changed at the end of last year. I was moved into a new position called an ELA- eLearning Administrator. Something that is VERY much needed when you have a large online education/training presence. Well…let’s just say that I was not jumping for joy at this new position. But I loved the company I worked for, so it was kind of status quo for a while.

At the end of May, I was tempted with a job offer which would have me as an ELA for just 1 single client. That really got me thinking about what I WAS doing…and how I was not thrilled to get up everyday and work. Luckily, I have been blessed with some awesome bosses. I shared my concerns with him and he worked on a new position that would have me doing internal training. This would put me back into a training capacity with the company.

But…towards the end of July…as I was getting ready to start a new school year with the girls…I got to thinking about how much I really missed being in education. I really believe that God put being a teacher in my soul. Young or old…it does not matter, it was what I was meant to do. I also think that working on my PhD in education also had me missing the classroom environment.

I randomly heard about an art teaching position at a small private school in town. During the interview I found myself more drawn to the science position they were describing that was open (which I was also qualified to teach). I spent the next few days pondering what I was meant to do. Lots of prayer was involved.

Monday I turned in my resignation with my employer. I still had no idea what I was going to do, but I did know that I would figure it out. Do I take a new job with this client that would offer LIMITLESS room for growth in more ways than one??? (Great company, great product) Or, do I follow my heart and go back to the classroom??? I talked with the girls, talked with my hubby, talked with my mom and sister, and sent a rather lengthy, embarrassing e-mail to my pastor.

After we visited the school, the girls told me it would be ok if they went to school there. And so the decision was made.

Tomorrow I add another chapter to my “random life” as two friends put it. To be continued…

(my new classroom)

Casey Chapman - Congratulations on following your heart. I wish you the best in this new chapter. 🙂

Casey Chapman
George Junior High School
Lamar CISD

Kim - Good for you!! You will be fabulous! They are lucky to have you 🙂 hugs to the girls.

Kaci - congratulations!!