A couple of weeks ago, I went to my principal and told her something no teacher says. Ever.
I’m bored and I need more meaningful work.
My job in the building is different. I teach three classes daily, make sure the library runs and help where I can in other areas.
But what I’ve found out over the years, is that I’m a teacher. It’s what I do and what I think I’m good at. It’s definitely what I love.
I don’t really care what I teach or who I teach it to. It gives me a sense of sharing and giving to others that I’ve always craved.
Doing library tasks? Not so much.
Don’t get me wrong. They are necessary and they help the library run smoothly but most of that could be done by somebody without a master’s degree and National Board Certification.
No, teaching is what I love. It’s my purpose.
I talked to one of the instructional coaches in the building who set me up with some small groups during the day…teaching math.
Now if you know me, I am math-phobic. I almost failed geometry in high school and came close in trig. I was able to earn my B.A. in Communication without ever taking a math class in college. Apparently, in a liberal arts program, Analyzing Drama has the same brain impact as Calc.
In the ensuing years, I realized that I’m actually okay at math and that math has a purpose. It’s how planes get in the air and buildings get built.
The math thing for me was that I didn’t know how different equations or expressions could have only one answer. Now that I fly, I’m glad they do and that somebody somewhere figured out what it is.
Teaching is teaching and it’s my purpose. I know that I will find I am smarter than a 5th grader and will lead them to better math skills and scores.
Here’s the thing, while math is out of my comfort zone, I’m so grateful for the stretch. It helps fill my day with something impactful. It allows me to create connections with kids who I may not see in my building on a regular basis. I get to grow my brain. It helps me feel fulfilled.
Most importantly, it helps me be in service to students. And that’s what teaching is all about.
Yesterday I started this journey and loved it. I’m so happy to have those empty spots in my day filled with something meaningful. Something that helps. Something that makes a difference.
For me, it was a process. Maybe it is for you too.
Taking a look at where you are and admitting it’s not where you want to be is the first step.
The second is being open. Knowing where you are going and not being tied to the “cursed hows.” See, when you know why you are doing what you are doing and where you want to go, how you get there doesn’t really matter.
Third? If you are not where you want to be, enlist the help of others who can help you get there. Scary to open yourself up? Sometimes. But on the road of life, there are times when you have to ask for directions.
Today, I head back to school with a renewed sense of purpose. I know why I’m there. I know what can be done and the impact that I can make.
I have a purpose. I am a teacher.