Today I came home, sat Brooklyn down in her high chair, started her on her dinner, and updated my Facebook status: "I really miss teaching."
This is a true statement. I do. I have always thought teaching came naturally to me and now more than ever I am convinced of it. Whether or not I have a paid teaching job at an ISD, I am a teacher and I always will be. It's just in me. It is who I am.
When given free reign over "Two Time" at the A&M Church, my boss Sarah said, "It's just a little more structured than the nursery, but basically you play with them and give them snacks and that's it".
"That's it?" says I. No way. If I've got a captive audience of 10-15 two-year-olds for an hour while their parents are in church, I will teach! We learned how to put puzzles together. We learned about Dr. Seuss (they LOVED "The Cat in the Hat"). I taught them fun songs and games (many of which I learned at either Iron Springs Church Camp or Build-a-Bear) and we learned colors, numbers, letters, shapes and animals. I changed our bulletin board every 3 months to teach about the seasons. My favorite was always the Easter egg hunt in spring :)
There are a lot of reasons why I miss teaching. Partly it's because of Brandon's stories he comes home with. When the stories end with things like, "My sub for 8th period said they quit teaching full-time because of classes like mine", I don't envy him so much, but each time I'm up at Lamar to eat lunch with him, I just miss the feeling of having a classroom, having control, having minds to mold. When we go to football games all of his students yell out "Strother!" and try to high-five him as he walks by. I miss the love.
For the majority of this semester I have been at Needville once or twice a week after school rehearsing with the new show choir, Soundsation. I knew about half of the kids before I started doing choreography for them either from being their speech teacher, their debate teacher or both. I love working with Rodney, who was always one of my favorite teacher friends. Today I got to visit the middle school to work on Christmas choreography with 5th and 6th grade. To most people, this would be a nightmare. For me it was pure joy. Even with Brooklyn strapped onto my back in her carrier :) As some of you read on Facebook, I told the kids that if they spoke when they weren't supposed to, the baby would cry. And no child wants to make a baby cry = Successful day!
I started telling Brandon about everything that I got to do today- 5th grade, 6th grade, high school rehearsal by myself since Rodney was gone with Pre-Area All State stuff. It was great. And then I teared up because... I really miss teaching.
Then, like he always does, Brandon came in as the voice of reason:
You teach everyday. You teach Brooklyn everything she learns, everyday. And you do still teach, for an hour or so a day, two days a week, to kids in a school.
Don't be upset about what you can't do. Be thankful for all of the things you can.
Story of my life. And Brandon is always the one who has to repeat the moral.
It's not hard for me not to be a "glass-half-full" kind of person. For the most part my outlook on life is positive, though that wasn't always the case. A lot has changed since Brandon and I have been together. Sometimes though, the pessimism, anxiety and uncertainty still creep in, tainting my view of myself and the world around me.
For example, a week 1/2 ago I held an "Eternal Threads" gathering, which was a little party designed for my girl friends to come over and buy products from a non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to get women and children out of the cycles of poverty they are in. I sent out an evite, announced it in Bible class, sent out email reminders and did all of that in plenty of time. Supposed to begin at 10 AM, at noon when no one had shown up, the doubts and negativity started.
"I guess no one likes me. Maybe I'm annoying. Am I rude? Am I mean? Do I smell bad?"
No, Brandon said. Just wait. People will come.
And they did. Some of my friends showed up later in the afternoon and bought stuff. Another friend came the next day. Others called or Facebooked me and asked me to hold things for them. Still, I couldn't help but feel that more people would have shown up and supported this very important cause if I were somehow a better person.
Nonsense, says my wise husband. Don't worry about all the people who didn't show up. Be thankful for Aja, Wendi, Brittnie and Cynthia.
Dang. Why does he always have to be right?
It's true. I do miss teaching. But the good news is, I can go back, and there will still be kids who need me. Right now, it's my kid who needs me. Like I said tonight, "I want to be teaching everyday AND I want to be home with Brooklyn everyday".
And you can't always get what you want.
No, you can't always get what you want.
You can't always get what you want.
But if you try sometimes,
You might find
You get what you need
I've got a good life. I am content. I am thankful for each day I get to teach show choir moves at Needville. I have a blast singing and dancing in the choir room with all those kids. I am thankful for each moment I have to teach Brooklyn. Today she showed me she can put all five rings on the stacker in about 10 seconds. We also learned how to beat our chest and make gorilla noises today.
Not every mom has the opportunity to stay home with their child. I don't ever want to seem like I make light of this fact. I have the best job in the world and am so blessed to be able to not have to do anything else besides it.
So I'm going to try really hard not to say "I miss teaching" anymore, because I don't have to miss it. I do it everyday. And if I say I miss something, then I'm really just missing out on appreciating what I have.