My heart is that of an educator. I am a teacher first and always will be. I made myself a promise my very first day as an administrator to stay connected to classrooms and not lose sight of the daily interactions with staff and students. To engage in conversations about learning, to support where it is needed, and to observe the challenges and collaborate together.
One day I looked down at my young son and asked myself a series of questions. These would ultimately change who I was as a teacher, a mother and an individual.
“Would you want to be his teacher? Are you the teacher you would want for your child?”
The answers were sadly, no, yet it opened my eyes to the undeniable reality of where I was professionally and emotionally. After I held him and cried, I knew I had to find a way back to the flair I once had. I couldn’t live, breathe and eat only school, or it would lead me back down a road to teacher burnout.
The next morning, I drove to school and told myself if I set boundaries and focused on the relationships with my students the passion would resurface. I was right, and I am grateful it didn’t take me long to realize that taking care of myself meant I could still take care of my students, too.
Giving myself permission to live a life outside of the walls of my classroom was the biggest gift. The practice of self-care, self-love and self-compassion changed my view on teaching.
I was back and the flair inside me was stronger than it ever was before.
Teaching is hard; there are no two ways about it. You worry about students, their families, and their learning. The nights are often sleepless, as you lie awake and think of lessons, the complexities of some of our most vulnerable kiddos, and the reminder that we are ultimately responsible for influencing the lives of a future generation.
Teaching is my heart’s work and is the best gig around. It gives me the ability to build relationships through meaningful connections.
I am proud to be a teacher. I am proud to be a school administrator. I hope you are, too. Please reach out and connect. We can all learn and grow from each other.