Saturday, January 9, 2016

Teaching Matters

Since becoming a mom, life has been different. My sweet girl turned 1 on Sunday and it has been an amazing year. I was lucky enough to be able to take time off and be with her. Going back to school in August was challenging in a way that I wasn't prepared for. It is hard being a working mom. (It is hard being a stay at home mom too) Teaching has always been something I've poured myself into. So finding the balance between being a mom, wife, teacher, friend, and blogger has been hard. I've missed blogging. I've missed reflecting on my teaching and my life through this medium. I'm hoping now that I have a semester under my belt, I can do more. It helps that my girl is sleeping a little better finally. Energy was definitely not high on my list this past semester.
This semester was difficult for other reasons too.  My husband told me one day that maybe I needed to find another job because I was complaining so much. When I stopped and thought about it, I was sad that they view I was giving my husband was I didn't like my job. Because I truly have a great class. The kids have made huge progress in the time we've been together. But the other stuff of teaching has clouded my view. Things that I have no control over like county and state mandates. Other people's negativity. Public perception of our school. After this conversation with my husband, I tried to refocus on what is important.
But by December my energy was really depleted. Any positive thoughts I had were gone. My sleep was minimal and that makes a huge difference on your outlook. I was feeling very under appreciated and over looked at my school. Basically, I was in desperate need of Christmas break. Over the break, I started to think maybe I wasn't in the right place. Maybe God didn't really want me to be a teacher and to leave my sweet girl everyday. I'm trying to be real and this is what was really going on in my head. I was starting to dread the return to school.
Back in July, I started a new Bible Study app called First 5. It is through Proverbs 31 ministries. The premise is everyday you wake up and give God the first 5 minutes of your day. They started with the book of John and since then we've studied Genesis and Matthew. This past week we started Exodus. While on maternity leave and struggling through being a first time mom, I really came to treasure my bible study time. When school started, I needed this time even more. I need to spend some time with the Lord everyday to get focused for the day. This week, the topics of study were so timely for me. They were about having confidence in who God says he is rather than who we think we are (Exodus 3) and about the doubts we have about the tasks God has given us (Exodus 5).
I felt like God was talking directly to me. I was doubting that I was where I was suppose to be. I was doubting that I was a good teacher or a good mom. But this helped me to realize that God has given me what I need. I only need the confidence that he is who he says he is and he will e
 Then yesterday morning God gave me further confirmation that I was where he wanted me to be. My assistant principal told me that one of my students had told him a couple of times that when he came into class after the break that I told him I missed him and hugged him and it meant a lot to him. This student worried me all over the break. I was afraid he wouldn't be back when school started again. He's homeless and his life is so unstable. But it mattered to him that I said I missed him. It mattered to him that I gave him a hug. It mattered to him that his friends all said Good morning to him in morning meeting and were happy to see him. It matters what I do everyday. I need to keep my focus on the kids not the mandates or the testing. But the kids.
Teaching matters. It matters to the kids that they get a smile and hug. It matters that the kids know someone cares about them and misses them when they are gone. As we start a new semester, remember that what you do everyday matters to the kids we serve. When you've had a rough day of dealing with the negative of teaching, remember the kids you serve need you. Other teachers need you.


  1. Kerri-
    I love how true and honest this is not only for you but all moms who work. Your a fabulous teacher, an asset to our school in so many ways, and I am thankful for the many things you share with us in an effort to uplift us in times of change. Thanks so much friend!

  2. This post speaks volumes to me! I have been having the same feelings this past fall semester and really have been praying to find a reason to feel differently. Life is so much easier when I am not in the stress that comes with this job. I have been teaching for 33 years and many days wonder why I stay. After reading this I have hope that I can make it the remainder of the year, thanks for your true thoughts and sharing them here. Thanks!