Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Good-bye Teaching

I promised some of the students that when BM got a little bigger, I would bring him to school. He's not a whole lot bigger but since the last day of school was quickly approaching I decided I better make a trip. The kids were so cute with him. They did just as I feared-patted his head, kissed him, grabbed his little hands, and wanted to hold him. BM didn't seem to mind as much as I did (for the most part).

Notice the sign above BM's head. I threatened him if he was not a good little baby, he would be sent to the Principal's office. He didn't listen so I had to follow through. :)

The school building that I taught at is undergoing some badly needed remodeling. It's a very old school and the ceiling was literally falling down. The teachers and students had to pack EVERYTHING up. They are spending the last three weeks of the school year and the first couple weeks of next school year at a different building (it is used for a traditional school versus year round). They are troopers! I know it will be worth it for them when they return to the newly remodeled school but it has been such an inconvenience for them. I must admit that I'm glad that my last official day was before the big move. These quotes were on the wall at the school they are temporarily using.

I have such mixed emotions about not working anymore. When I was in college, I accepted the idea that I would be average at many things in my life (dancing, sports, looks, brains, etc. etc.) so I decided there were four areas that I would not settle for mediocrity: being a full time missionary for the LDS church, being a school teacher, being a wife, and being a mom.

The first two of those experiences have come and gone. I have never worked so hard as I did as a full time missionary for the LDS church in Tempe, Arizona. I gave it everything I had and then some. It was humbling. I was forced to grow in ways that at the time was painful. Now I see that it gave me stronger character and more appreciation for things.

As for being a teacher... I learned to love all my students even those that would otherwise be considered unlovable. I tried to make learning fun and appealing. There was never an end in sight or a solid way to measure if I was being successful. What worked for some students, didn't work for others. The pressure of trying to make everyone happy (students, other teachers, administrators, parents, grandparents, myself) was at times overwhelming. Teaching is challenging and at times a thankless profession. There were numerous situations, that I felt a guiding hand as I taught. I said things and handled situations in a way that I knew I was getting help from Above. Teaching is probably one of the few things in my life that has felt very natural. It seemed to tap into a deep place within me and retrieve talents that I didn't know I possessed but when they came out, I felt so alive and at peace.

So that's why I have such mixed emotions. I'm glad to say good bye to grading papers, lesson plans, report cards but I'm sad to say good bye to the people I work with, the excitement of never knowing what to expect from the students, and work that at times didn't seem like "work" but more of a calling designed with just me in mind.


Denise said...

I completely know how you feel Jen! It is difficult to leave that other part of yourself, maybe even part of your identity behind when, as a Mom, you decide to stay home. We made the decision after my 2nd was born, it was hard - but sooo worth it! I didn't miss the work, but the people. I really admire women that work and have a family, it is a challenge.

JS said...

I don't think you are saying good-bye to teaching, you are just moving on to new students, starting with BM.

Brittany said...

He is such a cutie pie!!! I love him sitting in the chair! He looks so grown up!! Oh I miss him now!! Did he show your students his wonderful vocals? hehe :)

The Leo said...

If an excellent teacher inspires then you must be high on the list because you have inspired me in countless ways and continue to do so. Please don't think that just because you are not getting paid to be an instructor, that you have stopped teaching Mrs. Roos. Can I get a bathroom break?

Anonymous said...

I hope that is the last time that BM will have to visit the priciples office for bad behavior.What beautiful,emotional well-writtem words about teaching and the effort you put into it. I think your talent is to inspire and teach. Bm is lucky to have you as his Mom. I know I am alot older than you, but I have learned many things from you. Love, G.R.