I loved teaching kindergarten. It was by far the most beautiful, most rewarding, most selfless job I’ve ever had. It was also the most difficult. Please show your child’s kindergarten teacher some appreciation because the work they put in is immeasurable.
Although I loved teaching kindergarten, after several years, I started having thoughts of self-doubt. Am I even good at this anymore? I’ll never have it figured out. I can’t do this. I’m so exhausted. I didn’t do well in my lesson. I’m not really a good teacher. These tiny seeds of self-doubt began to plant themselves in my brain and then I began to lose my joy. And friends, if you know me, I AM joy. I was beginning to lose myself in the tangled web of burnout and I knew that if I didn’t make a change, burnout would change me — for the worst. Having an administration degree, I knew I could eventually head down that path, but I decided to steer my love of teaching in a new direction for now.
This fall, I’ll be teaching high school English.
Why? Why would you go from teaching kindergarten to high school? That’s CRAZY! That’s a big change! Yes. Yes, it is. I’m ready for it. Change is powerful. Change is necessary for growth. Change is uncomfortable sometimes. As I reflect on my 2018 thoughts about an evolving life perspective, I remembered something important: It’s okay to change direction. It’s okay to change your mind.
Parents, I know you can relate to this. So often, we are so caught up in routine, always on autopilot, content going through the motions of the day. You’re lost in sippy cups, the house is a mess, and it feels like the days are running together. Change might look like a complete technology detox, hiring someone to help out, or deciding to stay home instead of work. It might mean ending relationships and choosing to move on. The decisions and changes you make as a mother can have a profound impact on your children. Although your intent matters, the impact is just as important. Always weigh your decisions, take calculated risks, and don’t be afraid to ask for guidance along the way. There are people who have been in your shoes and know how to navigate the raging waters of burnout and stress. They can steer you in the right direction.
Change will lead you in all sorts of unexpected, ironic directions. The funny thing is that I had a hard time in high school. I was a C student at best and I had a rough time, but that’s a story for another day. I made it out on the other side all thanks to some incredible adults who loved me when I needed it most. I’d like to return the favor.