I was honestly not planning on doing any sort of Year in Review, but here it goes.
Last school year, my 5th year teaching, I began to question my profession of choice, and I realized that maybe I am not that person who would be a high school English teacher forever. On the surface, I wanted to be. I wanted to be content with having the same job and profession forever, but as I began to do more and learn more about myself, about teaching, and more importantly about how the skills that I began to develop could not be contained or satisfied in a high school English class, I became discontent and honestly, worse as a teacher. I became angry that this would be my life forever and took it out on the kids.
I love teaching, don’t get me wrong. It is a core part of my being. I’ve always known that I would be a teacher, but even in my college teaching education program I never could fit myself into the box of a literature-loving, grammar-focused teacher. I could honestly count the times that I taught grammar or vocab on one hand, and I only taught it then because I felt like that is what real English teachers are supposed to do. I was that teacher who would die before I gave students questions from a book or a pre-made handout. I always decided that if I did not have fun planning or creating a lesson, then I would not want to teach it. So as soon as I learned how, I created everything from scratch.
Looking back now, I am realizing one part of my personality is that if I don’t do something well, I won’t do it at all.
So at the beginning of the year, I began a journey of trying to figure out what is next. I searched for the perfect Master’s program and found out that the TESOL (Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages) MA program at Alliant International University was going to perfectly fit my schedule and fit my needs for the few months of the Post 9-11 GI Bill that I had left to pay for it and my housing allowance. This supplement would give me financial flexibility to take time to figure out what to do next.
The next few things that happened were disheartening
and very, very confusing.
I am that person that leaves no stone unturned, so even though I had already decided that I was no longer going to be teaching high school, I could not stop myself from applying for job after job and taking interview after interview. See, maybe it is my Marine overconfidence that leads into a little bit of arrogance, but I know how to interview, and I know how to get jobs. So getting rejected after doing well on the interviews over and over was cutting away at my ego. I did not like this… AT ALL!!
So what’s the deal? Was this God’s way of confirming to me that I’m done teaching high school? Maybe I am not on the right track at all even with my Master’s Program. Maybe I got everything wrong, and I’m on the completely wrong path. Now how do I get back and how do I even know that I’m going the wrong direction. I was sooo confused.
I realized that I just needed to stop striving (honestly, I haven’t gotten that one down yet), and attempt to be content in the season of staying home with my 3-year-old and finishing my Master’s program.
Well, since I can never be content doing one thing, (which is another thing I have learned about myself), I began to teach myself things. I started blogs, 5 to be exact, and still write in 3 regularly. I have moved from my pile of unread books on my bookshelf (they are still there) to audiobooks through Audible; I got through 3 in 4 months. I listen to the Quote of the Day Show by Sean Croxton every day. I listen or read everything I can get my hands on from Jeff Goins, Lisa Nichols, and Dan Miller.
I am doing Jeff Goins Challenge and everything that he has to offer because I am done with the mundane. I am going to succeed and continue to move forward regardless of my life circumstances. I will make it happen!!
I have moved from being resentful that I don’t have anyone speaking regularly into my life to having experts speaking to me and encouraging me every day. I am achieving my dreams one day at a time. This process did not start today on New Year’s Day. It started last February. Each day I can wake up with a fresh look at my dreams and begin to take steps to accomplish them.
I need a house with a yard and a driveway for my girls to ride their bikes in.
And it is only me who can get them that.