Once upon a time I loved my job. I lived my job. I took it home and spread it across the floor and talked to everyone who would listen and bought clunky jewelry reflecting my chosen profession.
I am a teacher.
My students were a major portion of my world. I hugged them and loved them and was excited to see them. Everything I did was in preparation for them, everything seen filtered through how to share it with them. Stories told outside of school were about them and our time together.
I was considered a favorite of students and a teacher of excellence by my administrators and my peers. I was enthusiastic, innovative, creative, energetic, and positive.
Somewhere along the way things changed.
For the past few years I’ve found myself considering teaching different subjects, teaching different grade levels, moving to a different school, even making a full career change. Telling my daughter I was headed to Wal Mart or Target, she began to ask if it was for shopping or a job application. There were days I found myself longing for a cubicle and a computer.
This year, as my nose lifted above the water line and I took a gasping breath, I finally realized the level of my discontent. And the level of my decline. And it scared me.
Bottom line: I’m too old and inexperienced in anything else for a change, too young to retire, and too poor to just quit.
But mostly, I know what it’s like to love this job. And I want that back.
So I embark today on a new journey: a journey of rediscovery. It’s time to fall back in love with my job and my students. It’s time to become the teacher I was and still am. She’s just hidden under way too much discontent and apathy and negative experiences. Life has gotten in the way and life is just going to need to shove over. My students deserve it. I deserve it.
Recently someone I love referred to me in a message using a term of endearment and I found myself suddenly overcome emotionally. When I asked myself why such a reaction, I realized that my endearment tank was pretty dern empty right then. So I felt it strongly. My teacher tank is most definitely at a low point. I see it as a basket and it needs some apples to fill it up – those sweet tidbits traditionally tied to teachers and teaching that make this job one to love.
But this is not the place for that sort of discovery. This is the place for finding God in the stuff of life. For those interested in my other journey, you can find my experiences at another, more specific site: applebasketblog.wordpress.com. I’ll be collecting those traditional fruity trinkets, figuratively speaking, and refilling a basket far too empty right now.
Let the adventure begin. Again.