friends · teaching

when did I know?

Many have asked me when I knew I wanted to become a teacher. Was I always born with the passion to teach? No (but my mom would probably disagree as she recounts a story about me standing in front of the neighborhood children who were all huddled on the grass while I nattered on about… something. Everything!) Did I have an inspirational teacher who made me want to follow this vocation? Yes. I had many teachers who inspired me to think, ask questions, and challenge myself. But they didn’t really persuade me to become a teacher.

My first real teaching experience took place at ISK in Nairobi, Kenya. Though I was affiliated with the school as a volunteer, it was not until I had my first hands-on day with kids, papier mâché, and a lot of fun, that I even fathomed teaching as a career.

All through my credential work, earning my Master’s degree, and 10 years of teaching I liked my job. I was passionate about what I did. I knew I did it well… on most days. And I was proud of the work that I did. But I still didn’t know I wanted to be a teacher.

It wasn’t until just last week (Tuesday, 16 August 2016, 8:00 am to be exact) in my new adopted country of Oman, that I knew I wanted to be a teacher.

I had dropped Rob and the kids off at school for a 7:30 am start time. Then I got back in the car and drove. Away. Did I drive to another classroom at another school? Nope. I didn’t go to a curriculum planning meeting or a school supply store. I went… to a coffee shop! I didn’t know what to do with myself so I ordered a cappuccino and tried to read a book.

About 20 minutes after reading the first paragraph… again… and again, I realized I wanted to be a teacher.

Driving away from school (in a year when there was no ES teaching job available) was one of my lowest moments. How could I share my talents if there were no students to teach? Who would need me (besides my family before and after school)? How was I going to affect change in the community or world? What was going to happen to my PLN of educator contacts and collaborative colleagues? Who was I going to be?

All of these feelings, questions, worries, and value judgements of myself, my career, and my professional reputation weighed on me. And then the tears came. I began to grieve. The feeling was similar grief I had experienced before. It was the grief of death. Of lost love. You know… the type of sorrow that makes your chest ache . That was the feeling I had when I walked away from school, got in my car, and drove away. Complete and total loss.

During that cappuccino I felt useless. Unnecessary. Wasted. And those feelings are terrible on a normal day. But the feelings seemed even more desperate because I had just realized what I wanted to be when I grew up!

So now what? What’s the next step? What the hell am I going to do to wipe these sorrowful feelings from my heart? I don’t know, but I guess I’m gonna have to try something new.

I’m going to make friends, volunteer, write Genius Hour curriculum, try to sell myself, and then… secretly hope a lot of teachers get pregnant so I can get back in the classroom where I belong. Because now. Only now, do I know that I want to be a teacher!

Some of my favorite teaching moments and people who have made me better at what I do:




6 thoughts on “when did I know?

  1. I so understand what you are going through. And yet I am not worried about you! Strange? Nop, you are so driven about what you want to do with your life. Everything will fall into place, you will have a good life in Oman thanks to your perservierence. Go for it Girl, i KNOW you can do it!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence. It’s a weird feeling because, you’re right, I’ve always been so driven. Just trying to keep my head about me, keep the peace around the house, and continue to smile! Something will happen soon!


  2. So glad you found out who you are! I have always known. It’s in your heart. You can’t get rid of that. Ever. I’m confident that there is something waiting for you… it will show itself at the right time. Just like, the cappuccino was the right time. Hugs to you my friend, the teacher.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish I would have always known, maybe then I’d have a better plan for this holding pattern I’m in. You’re right that the best thing will come for me when the time was right. It’s what led us to meeting your fabulous family in Indonesia! But to know me is to know that I am FAR from patient. Trying to change, but that too, takes time.


  3. Thank you for choosing being a teacher…Thank you for choosing Indonesia, Surabaya and SIS as part of your journey. Thank you for all the lesson. laughter and endless spirit that you have gave to the school, community and especially me. 🙂
    I learned a lot from you…I chose to be a teacher because i had lots of teaching style from you especially your teaching style ^_^. You are awesome..and it will always be..thank you for inspiring me ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sherly, we were a good team. All four of us, year in and year out, wholly focused on what was best for our kids and the world. I’m glad my path brought me to you and I’m honored to know that I inspired you! Great success!


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