Here Goes Everything … And Why Not?!

You may hear this from many teachers, “I’ve always known that I wanted to be a teacher.” While that may be true, I believe that our reasons are starkly different.

If I may, a moment of honesty, (and there will be plenty more of those around here) I believe that my childhood desire to teach stemmed from the idea that ‘teaching’ and ‘school’ had everything to do with being creative and coloring. (I’d be lying if I didn’t share that I’ve had a coloring book in my room almost my entire life. Even before this new fad of coloring for adults emerged. However, I’m glad that it seems more socially sophisticated now.)

Nonetheless, my desire to teach took a more amplified focus around 10th grade, when my need for love and support was going virtually unfulfilled. I find it necessary to flashback a few years to when I was in 5th grade to help this make sense. In short, my parents divorced, my mother left, communication was limited in our family, and as I struggled to figure life out on my own, I developed an anxiety problem that stuck with me through college.

You would never have known it from the outside. I excelled in sports . My friends abounded. And academics were never an issue. On the inside however, I was in shambles.

I share, not to invoke pity or sympathy or to share all of the negative details-but to explain that during my many formative years of unrest and uncertainty, NOT ONE teacher positively made a difference in my life. NOT ONE.

That is not to say that I didn’t have kind teachers. Or that they were not good at their craft. However, I believe that NOT ONE of them, approximately 50+ of these seemingly caring adults, ever took the time to know me, connect with me, or support me. That is why I became a teacher.

I am aware that my situation wasn’t the worst of it, but I knew from an early age that I COULD NOT let another child have those feelings. I’ve had students whose parents battle illness. Students who had a parent pass away. Students who deal with crippling illnesses themselves. Homeless children. Children with incarcarated parents. Sexually abused children. Children whose pets pass away. Children who struggle academically. Children who are smarter than the day is long. Children with supportive families. Children whose kindness inspires me. The list goes on and on.

I’ve taught over 300 children who each come to me with a unique experience. Each needs support and love no matter what their situation and I refuse to let them leave my classroom not knowing that they have at least have one teacher who knows them, their situation, their hopes, their dreams, their fears, and who loves and supports them.

So while my childhood was filled with uncertainty and fear. I believe now as a supported and loved adult, that those experiences have created some of my greatest strengths as a teacher. I am empathetic. I am determined. I care. I reflect. I am open to making mistakes. I find the joy. I believe in children. I look for opportunities to support. I see the big picture. I am confident in my abilities. And lastly, I am comfortable with being honest.

Which leads me to the reason that I am starting this blog. I have some passionate feelings towards education and while I’ve shared them with those close to me, I haven’t ‘put it out there’ on such a broad scale for many reasons. But after 10 years of being on the other side as a teacher I ask, Why Not?! Why not share? Why not discuss and expose some big issues? Why not appreciate different opinions and ways of work? Why not try to create understanding? Why not create change?

Know that I always come from a place of doing what is right for children, period. I look forward to sharing ideas and information about education, teaching, my life, and creating the change that needs to happen for our children and their futures.

With love and courage, here goes everything!