CHANGE OF PACE
I have been teaching, mainly preschool and early elementary, for over 10 years, and I always gave my heart, soul, mind and time to the school and the children I worked with. I looked at the world and at diverse situations in my life searching for ways to enhance my teaching and the lives of those I worked with – adults and children.
In Brazil I worked in the same school for 7 years. Although my occupation changed every other year or so, I worked with the same professionals, I was able to grow with the school, and become part of the culture driving the education there. I learned a lot, and I believe my input also helped the school grow. Working at a place without committing to that level feels incomplete, and my current contingencies indicate that such is the case.
As I approach the 40s I wonder if I can dedicate the same energy I have before, which in my perception is key to being a decent educator. The idea that I might not be able to do it to my content leads me to consider not becoming responsible for a classroom full of children as a lead teacher.
After I spent three months developing myself as a writer, the thought of being in the same place, at the same time, with the same people day after day seems imprisoning. In addition, dealing with the egos of teachers who compete instead of cooperating, and having to sacrifice and bend my core beliefs in the name of an institution stalls personal and professional growth and bitterns my life.
SPEAKING OF PERSONAL GROWTH
On the sweet side, my husband and I have been discussing the idea of becoming parents. This decision cannot wait much, considering my age. Being a parent, much like being a professional, requires a huge dedication to be done to my standards. I do not see myself not working to become a full-time mom and housewife, but I do hope I can have a job that allows me flexibility and time to dedicate to my family.
On the other hand, each and every time I engage in conversations about education and early childhood, I get excited, inflamed, my heart races and my voice raises – clear symptoms of passion. Leaving all that behind feels like a waste, and would cause an important part of my life to wilt. I wonder what options are out there for me to keep feeding from and giving to this cause impacts me that deeply.
A few days ago I received an email from my professor from George Fox. She shared with me the news of an Early Childhood Education “colligation” that will meet in Portland for the first time in October. I am fearful of not having much to add, and of being the only one there who is not in a classroom, but this seems like a wonderful opportunity to help me find out what else I could do to put my passion to service, as well as learn more about Reggio Emilia and the Portland schools who are inspired by that philosophy.
Changes are difficult and anxiety-generating, but they are also exciting for bringing possibilities of self-betterment.