For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. I grew up with a lot of younger kids around and I loved being their leader and showing them new things.
Then one day in sixth grade, one of my teachers approached me and asked if I’d be interested in tutoring a younger student. It was something completely new for me, but I decided to take the leap and give it a try.
From then on, I was completely hooked. I continued to study child development through college and was so excited to start working with children. I’ve always been so sure of what I wanted to be. So, why don’t I write about my experiences more?
When I started teaching four years ago, I realized how much it consumed my life. That first year, you are getting up early and staying late to make sure everything gets done. You are reading blog posts late at night for ideas and spending any extra second you have to create or prepare for a lesson. Not to mention making sure you’re keeping up with grading, parent emails, and whatever events are coming up.
They’re not lying when they say that the first year is the hardest. It is. There’s so much that you don’t even realize you don’t know and it just takes time and practice to get there. No class or even conversation can teach you some of these things. You have to experience them yourself and figure out what works for you.
It was at the end of my first year that I started this blog. I remember thinking: There is so much more to my life than teaching. I am so much more than an elementary school teacher. I also love being outside, cooking at home, and dancing at music festivals.
I was also craving improvement. I was just stepping into adulthood and I wanted to better myself; to find what kind of life I want to live. I wanted to get inspired.
If you follow me on instagram, you’ve noticed that I’ve started sharing my classroom experiences more and more. It is such a big part of my life and I do want to give a peek into some of those beautiful moments.
But it’s still not all that I am.
If I had a teaching blog, it would continue to consume me like it did that first year teaching. I’d much rather support a teacher on teacherspayteachers who took the time to make a cute, fun, and engaging lesson than spend a Saturday making one myself (although this does happen on occasion). I appreciate and admire those teachers so much, and while I don’t feel like I can follow their lead, I will always continue to support them.
After having a recent conversation with one of my student’s parents, I also realized that I think this blog makes me a better teacher. By having a creative outlet that has almost nothing to do with teaching, I can take time to do other things that make me happy, whether I’m creating a new recipe or simply taking time to write a blogpost about something that’s been on my mind (like this one). I think I’m growing more and enjoying the little things more because of it. I think it’s exactly what I needed that first year I started teaching.
So, whether you’re a teacher or anything else, I think it’s important to remember that your job doesn’t define you. Sure, a lot of who I am is being a teacher, but it’s certainly not all of me, and it isn’t all of you. There’s that great quote that says something like this:
Your job is what you do, not who you are.
I recently heard someone say that it’s important to ask people what they’re passionate about rather than ask what they do for a living. The answers can be so enlightening, especially if where they work doesn’t define them or even bring them the most happiness.
While I love teaching and get so much joy from it, this blog shows a lot of my other passions. Even if it only serves as a creative outlet, I will continue to be thankful for this space and all that it inspires me to be.