Point of View

teaching
IMG_1617

My POV

Driving into work today I had to mentally prepare myself for the questions I would be asked by six and seven year olds. I had to rehearse answers to their questions. I had to replay in my mind what I would say during our time of prayer. Today my point of view was very different.

What was my POV? A sad, brokenhearted teacher that had to explain to 24 little hearts why a man would decide to take the lives of so many innocent people. The teacher who wanted to avoid all the hard conversations, but know that speaking the truth was right. The teacher who was petrified of a world that these sweet children have to grow up in.

I spoke the truth. I told them that there is evil in our world and that some people are so evil that they want to hurt others. No one asked another question. They were satisfied with this truth. Their truth.

I will not let this affect my LIFE point of view. That glorious picture is what I get to see every day right before I step foot into my classroom. My classroom that speaks truth. That holds tight to faith and that in the midst of all this yuck still has HOPE.

Give someone a big hug today, share something personal today, linger a little longer in the coffee shop today. We all need our point of view to be glorious and filled with hope. We need teachers more than ever who are willing speak truth. We can-

 

How I Became a Marigold Teacher-

teaching

I have to admit that I never wanted to become a teacher. I knew I loved people and teaching people, but I did not see myself as a teacher.  Does that seem weird? Of course, I played teacher when I was a child. Mostly I wanted to be the boss, so I was the teacher to all things fluffy in my house. My brother never submitted to my requests to complete leftover worksheets or read books that were way too young for him.

IMG_1218.jpg

Out of high school I had no clue what to do. I knew I was creative, I had a love for learning, and I wanted to be in a different city then my home town. At 18, I found myself at the doorstep of FIDM in the heart of Los Angeles. I was enrolled in their visual communications program for set design, store displays, and marketing. I loved everything except the two-hour drive each way two days a week. I learned a lot about myself and what I wanted to do when I left FIDM. I gained independence, experienced a lot of culture in LA , and knew how to brush out mannequin wigs like nobody’s business.

From that experience, I took my creative skills to a career in cosmetics. I worked for amazing companies including Bare Escentuals and Sephora. I held positions in training and management and eventually ran my own store. I loved everything but the hours. I was a slave to the business. I was on call 7 days a week, I traveled many days a month and I found little time to be with my family. After 7 years of this I knew something had to give.

I took my love for teaching, training, developing talent and my love for people and went back to school. This came as a surprise to me just as much to my husband. We were three kids deep at the time, I was making a great salary and we had just started to get settled.

I had gone back to my high school a few months prior to this final decision for a gym dedication. The gym was being named after a great teacher, mentor and volleyball coach that was diagnosed cancer. He had a very short time to live and this was the school’s way of paying respect to an amazing man. It was that night that I realized my impact could be so much greater in the lives of children. A month later I was enrolled at Azusa Pacific University for my BA.

Going back to school when I was all grown up, well almost, was life changing. I realized what kind of learner I was and what type of teaching spoke to me. I also remebered how instrumental a few teachers were in my school life. I wanted to be that teacher. My drive for a career working with children was now set on fire.

Completing my BA, then my credential and now my MA is no freaking joke. Lets not forget that I still have an amazing husband and now four kids and I have been working and teaching full-time. It is no secret that we are all trying to survive this part of life. Cereal has been a dinner option more than I care to count.

I felt very discouraged my first year of teaching. I was inspired weekly with great information, research based strategies and a gazillion blog posts about what I needed to do as a teacher. I wanted to be the best at everything and I didn’t want to let anyone down, most importantly my students.

Through all the blogs and websites I found a beautifully written article about first year teachers. It spoke so deeply to my heart and what I stood for as a person and as a teacher. I had taken the long road to becoming a teacher. I had sacrificed many things including precious time with my own children to get to teach the future generations. I realized that no matter what I was doing I couldn’t lose the JOY I had in my heart for taking this leap of faith. I did not want anyone to steal the passion I had for this special calling. I had to find my marigolds as Jennifer Gonzalez stated in her article: Find Your Marigold: The One Essential Rule for New Teachers  

She describes marigolds as a welcome friend to other flowers (teachers). They are the people that will encourage you, love you and empathize with you even on your hardest days teaching. I found my Marigolds and I found them in the places I wasn’t looking. It occurred to me that I am surrounded by a family of marigolds through many people in my life who became teachers, SPED aids, doctors, social workers, and those who just love to support and spend time mentoring our young children to create a brighter future.

All of this to say I am elated that teaching chose me, God knows I didn’t have a clue. I am doing my best to be a marigold in other teacher’s lives and to spread the passion and creativity I have felt for what we all do. My students are not just the fuzzy ones now and I like to think that every day and every year I will become that teacher that made an impact on the lives of others. Maybe when I am gone my name will be on a bench, OK maybe a library bookshelf. I don’t need to be perfect, but I do need to give my all for these precious students.

superduper

And friends, if you dipped your toe in education and are not willing to dedicate your soul, sweat and tears into this profession, find your calling in something different. This career is for those who care about every set of eyes that meets theirs once a day or maybe just once a year. The career for the person who receives hugs from a child  and gives one back because this may be the only place to find them. This is the job that keeps you up at night creating visual aids for the child who still cannot read simple words. This is the job that you will gladly hand your paycheck over for supplies and decor to make your room feel like a second home to a child who has no home. THIS IS THE ART, THIS IS BEING A TEACHER———-

For all of us crazy enough to take on this role, you are loved. LETS DO THIS!!!!

Second Year Bliss

teaching

I have been encouraged to document all the happenings that take place in my classroom starting this school year. I was overwhelmed by that idea. Where would I find the time? Well, I have been doing much of this documentation in the form of photos, Instagram posts and Facebook blurbs.

So here I am starting a blog to document what life as a second year teacher is like. Also what it looks like in a first grade classroom.

I learned a lot in my first year teaching. I have been in the school environment since 2013 in different ways. I was a one-on-one aid for a special needs little girl, I was a classroom aid for middle school special education and resource and I was also a substitute teacher for a year. This was great preparation for my first year as a full-time first grade teacher, but holding down your own class is a lesson in strategic planning.

I plan to use this blog for inspiring teachers who are wide-eyed and as excited as I was entering the world of teaching to never lose that JOY. The first year may test you, put you to the fire, but YOU are NOT alone.

We are here for you, we are the teachers who are rooting for you to succeed at this wild career. We will not judge you if you used permanent stamp pads to make fingerprint art (yep I did).  When you have no clue what an acronym is but you used it twice and had to google it later. We will ask you to go for a walk when we know your head has not peaked out of your door for the last two days (or 5). A do not think for one moment we will tell you to stop buying school supplies or books because life is too short and nobody dies with their Amazon account history 🙂

Carry on newbies and do not look back–

Tal