Tag Archives: teaching

On Teaching

What do you think about public school teaching? Have you had experience teaching? Do you know someone that has? Did you or did they survive?

I am at a crossroads. I have never ever wanted to be a public school teacher in America. Overseas, as a language teacher, yes. Here – never.

Yet, here I am. I am decent at it. I am respected by peers and administration and mostly respected by parents. I could keep working day and night and be one of the best, without a doubt. But I don’t really enjoy much of it. The kids, they are adorable and fun. They wear me out, but sometimes the things they say help me feel not so exhausted. The kids are only a tiny piece of the puzzle. ┬áThere’s also the testing (a ginormous piece), the constantly shifting expectations, the million initiatives imposed by those far removed from the classroom, the observations, the pressure to perform at 100% every day, to hold the entire world together while meeting the emotional and academic needs of 23 six-year-olds, teaching character and patience while hanging desperately to your own.

The planning consumes all of the time off-stage. The job is multi-layered. Sometimes other teachers can be cruel (with looks or quick comments) to each other as they are deflecting the stress of holding their own world of little people together.

What stands in the way of America adopting successful strategies used in institutions abroad? Maybe this time in my life is just as much of a learning period for me as it is for all of the littles involved.

A million questions surround me. I trust it will make sense. Until then, I will push on and continue to give all of me to this profession. Prayers for continued strength and sanity are much appreciated.

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Current Adventure

So, I moved to Nashville. This isn’t news, really, it’s been almost a year and a half since we packed up our small Independence Square apartment and moved into an equally small West Nashville condominium.
In reflection, I have so many experiences I’ve collected in this past year. When we moved here last May, we came without much furniture or money. We maxed out my bank credit card and lived off of my retirement money (yikes) while I conquered this unpaid teaching fellowship program over the summer. As everything does, it worked out and we are still comfortably living in our West Nashville condo. Nigel has a job he enjoys enough and is playing in a band he enjoys even more. I am still teaching the sweetest little pumpkins in the world. We only had to make it 14 months on an air mattress and then my parents gifted us a bed. Life really does work out – you either find your own way or you have rich relatives. I think both scenarios are true here.
In the beginning, the transition was difficult. I was beyond stressed and secluded by my new (and extremely beautiful) surroundings. For a few months I had a hard time calling any place home. We no longer were a part of KC but didn’t quite feel it here either. Fortunately, this didn’t last and now as I sit here at 5:00 am on my balcony I couldn’t feel more at home. In fact, every time I make the trip “back” I find myself giddy excited at the thought of coming home to Nashville.
My mind keeps recalling so many other adventures I want to share but I’ll save those for another day. Stay tuned for thoughts:
-on waterfalls
-on Providence
-on teaching
-on 29
-on writing
-on traveling
-on fitness
-on my balcony
-on fear
-on Nashville nights
-on living in my own skin
-on growing out of things, or people
-on dreams and passions
-on ADVENTURE
Too much?
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Transition

I’ve transitioned from extremely free to extremely busy in a matter of days. Maybe extremely busy is an exaggeration; however, I now have plenty to fill my days and I am relieved to not be overly-stressed with a 40-hour a week commitment on top of everything else.

In the third week of the new year, I began my Masters course: Classroom Discipline and Motivation. With the possibility of teaching beginning as early as this fall, I am pretty thrilled to learn a few classroom motivation secrets. I am also preparing for an interview in Nashville on February 9th; and wait, there’s more, I’ve been studying for the ESL Praxis (and will take this next week, ahh!) My stomach is nervous, which means I’m not as relaxed as before, but that’s okay.

I’ve picked up a few sub opportunities here and there, but for the most part I’m leaning on my wonderfully, amazing man.

Finally, amidst the new found busy I do not want to forget to make the space for relaxation, tranquility and a stillness before the Lord. (It’s all for Him, about Him, because of Him).

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Possibility

11: the number of days remaining at my current job. 0: the number of jobs I have lined up after this one.
This makes me feel alive for some reason. It makes me feel free. It makes me feel like I don’t have to be tied-up to some responsibility to survive. I feel like my options are wide open and my future can be etched with my own pen.

Realistically, this is very stupid. However, it doesn’t stop me. I technically have a job substitute teaching, but need to register my fingerprints to be “official.”

I’d like to work in a warehouse or bar-tend or do something completely random, for fun, just because.

Ideas?? Suggestions?? Dares???

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What do I desire?

Hi.

Perhaps the grandest of adventures is in the making. My loans will soon be paid (well, we’ve paid four in one year. I am extremely STOKED about this) and my full time job will be no longer as of December 28th. It’s funny. I wanted full-time work so badly and now I’m running as fast as I can toward change. I believe I served at CFCA for the appropriate allotted time. As mentioned previously, I successfully depleted four different student loans with one remaining. My attitude toward the final loan is to not focus on it, let it disappear more naturally. I’ve learned a great deal about working in the non-profit world. It truly is fulfilling, but so are many other things. I know I can do anything I would like to do. Some things may take more time and effort, but it’s the risk I’d take given wanting to do that particular thing.

What is my dream job? I’m not really sure. My Facebook news feed provided me with the most interesting video.

What would I do if money didn’t matter? It’s so hard to say…we are so trained to search for something that earns us money, not fulfillment. But how do we pay the bills if what we want to do doesn’t currently earn us anything? It’s really a hard, heartless, vicious cycle.

I want to write. I want to travel. Could I become a travel-writer? My current worldly answer is…I can teach. Only sometimes am I passionate about teaching; however the answer is acceptable and the pay check is real, not imaginary. Would I love it? Probably not…would I enjoy it? Yes, sometimes.

Right now, my husband and I are looking for work in Nashville and Chicago. I’d like to move. I’d like to do something interesting and mobile before I’m 30.

Perhaps it’s all so overrated. Thoughts?

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LeGrand Adventure

I need an adventure.

This is something I say pretty frequently. I NEED an adventure. I am fond of change. I like learning. And, really, I NEED ADVENTURE.

But what is adventure? It depends on who you’re asking. One of my coveted adventures is teaching English in other countries. Actually moving abroad for a year (or more) and experiencing another culture and language while making some money teaching. Recently, I’ve completed a certification course in order to teach English abroad. I need to schedule a time to shadow a current ESL teacher, but altogether, it seems I’m prepared for my adventure…

…well, not quite.

You see, I am married to an amazing man. I am SO thankful for all the balance and love he brings to my life. However, with this love, and with this amazing balance, he also carries his own share of adventures…and…as of lately these adventures don’t consist of moving abroad…ever.

Hmm.

I’ve never dealt with this before. I mean, before marriage/relationships, you set an adventure and then you “just do it.” The daunting thought of never achieving this “dream” leaves me a little dazed, wondering which way to turn next.

One thing I can make clear is this: I love my husband, and I respect that he has his own dreams (adventures). I also respect that he may not appreciate or understand my dreams, while I may not appreciate or understand his. However, we are both able to respect the other perspective and try to compromise. Because he may never be ready to move abroad does not make null my commitment to him…it just makes it a little more difficult.

…And maybe it makes things a little more exciting. I am now challenged to seek many things… a new attitude, a new goal, another adventure. In fact, my recent challenge is just that: seeking adventure in the every day. While I’m mulling through what it looks like to have my adventure on hold, I plan to MAKE adventures weekly, even daily. And then I’ll blog about them.

Yes.

That is what I will do.

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