What I learned as a high school teacher

I’ve learned a lot about myself, people and life in these past four years of teaching. Some of the things have been silly and some should have already been obvious. Some things were life changing. I learned so much from my family, friends, co-workers and my students.

1. BE YOURSELF! I’ve heard this so many times in my life, but until I actually understood this and began to embrace it, my life didn’t change. People around you may not like who you are and that’s okay. The people that like you for who you are really like you and that makes for an open and honest relationship.

2. PEOPLE PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE. My students have been very observant as to what I’m wearing and how often I wear it. They notice if my hair is off or if it’s especially shiny. I don’t think that people need to be overly worried about their looks, but it’s just important to remind myself that people take notice.

*Being yourself and people paying attention to what you look like actually go together really well. Looks are the first thing you notice about a person, but their personality can completely change how you see them. My students have loved me in my good and bad hair days. They have loved me if I was a bad dresser (1st few years of teaching) and now that I have more (okay somewhat) stylish.

3. DON’T STOP HAVING FAITH. I haven’t been the best about getting to church every Sunday or reading my Bible regularly. These are things that I want to improve. I have learned to see God working in my everyday life. I see Him when I’m driving and I look over to see deer or bunnies just relaxing on in the grass. I see Him when a student actually gets the homework assignment or does well on a test. God is everywhere and I give thanks for that everyday.

4. DON’T GIVE UP BECAUSE IT’S HARD. Spanish 2 is the hardest level of Spanish and with the amount of grammar, it can get frustrating at times for the students. Some of them don’t make through the first semester. Some of them seem to quit around March. Some of them keeping working, trying and even through in some complaining. As a teacher, I will accept a small amount of complaints as long as the effort and work is there. I love seeing the faces at the end of the year once they realize that they have made it. So when it’s hard, it’s okay to get frustrated, just keep pushing!

More to come soon….

Reflection

I’m sitting in the room that has been my classroom for the last 2 years. I’m sitting in the school that I have taught in for the last 4 years. The walls are bare and the cupboards are empty. The only things left that show kids were in this exact room just yesterday is a white board covered with goodbyes and well wishes that my kids wrote to me.

I’m moving tomorrow. I’m moving to a new town, a new school, a new stage of life. I can’t even believe that it’s happening, but I’m so excited that it is.

As I think back to the last 4 years, I can’t help but be proud of how much things have changed and how much I have grown as a teacher and as a person.

I’m so thankful for the opportunities I’ve had, for the people I’ve met and the help I’ve had from family and friends. I’m so excited to see what the future holds and thankful that my support will never leave my side.

The End Looks A Lot Like A Beginning

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but I’m back. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but I seem to forget that sometimes and get too wrapped up in life. I want to make blogging a regular part of my life again. It’s just nice to share about life and also process through everything.

It seems that lots has changed in the last few months. I’m not even sure where to begin….

I decided to apply for grad school and I was accepted! I will be beginning in two weeks and be working towards a Master’s in World Language Instruction. I’m studying through Concordia. I will spend a few weeks at the Language Villages and a few weeks at Concordia. During the school year, I will be taking online classes.

I have also accepted a teaching job in Crookston, MN. I have already moved my things into my apartment and will be moving down there officially on Friday. It’s an exciting and new adventure. I will be the only Spanish teacher and create my own program.

Life is changing and new opportunities are coming up. I’m so glad for the new beginnings that are coming. It’s bittersweet to say goodbye to the job I have been at for the last four years, friends and family, but I know that where I go, the love and support go with me. Cheers to new adventures!

We don’t understand the concept of time

timeWe truly don’t understand time. It doesn’t seem to work in the way we think it should. Time keeps ticking by, whether we want it to or not. Sometimes we can’t wait for an event and it seems like it just drags on. Other times things happen so quickly we don’t even know where it went or what we did.

The thing is, time is constant. It just keeps ticking by. What qualifies as a second doesn’t change. The amount of minutes in an hour is always 60. Our lives are the things that change. We never have the same day twice. We aren’t living in Groundhog’s day.

So many of us spend time waiting for Monday, next week, next month or even next year. I think we just need to embrace the now. We can face our fears and accomplish our dreams. The time is going to go by whether we want it to or not. We will either use the time to accomplish our goals or waiting for the right time. Why wait, the time is now.

Meditation

Sitting quietly. Breathing in. Closing my eyes. Relaxing. Focusing on something positive. Embracing the silence. Taking time to realign. Meditation.

I’ve heard about people taking the time to do this before. I always imagined some granola eating, yoga pant wearing, hippie. Talking about connecting with the earth and other things that I don’t really understand. I guess my ideas and reality were far from true. Also, there is nothing wrong with eating granola or wearing yoga pants. I just thought it was something that I was far from.

I have begun using meditation to start my days. I just take a few minutes and sit quietly. I breath in and listen to the positive words that are spoken to me. Some how it makes a difference. I feel myself calm down. I feel my spirit and heart get a more positive vibe.

In a busy life, where answers can be found in the blink of an eye and I can be constantly entertained, it is rare that I take the time to sit, breathe, and relax. Maybe that’s why I am anxious. I don’t feel like I’m moving fast enough to keep up with the world’s speed. Maybe I’m not getting as much done as others. Maybe I’m not where I am supposed to be. But those aren’t true statements, they are just ideas that are spread throughout society and lead to negative ideas of self.

When I actually take the time to focus and get my mind ready for the day, I am able to take on anything. I see things more clearly and I understand what is important. Life doesn’t have to be full and crazy. If I am able to work harder and smarter, my product is far better than if I run around, trying to finish more and more.

Everyone has a different purpose in life. Everyone has different priorities. It is each person’s responsibility to go after their purpose and give it your best. I simply need to take a few minutes each day and help me get ready to do that. Take a few minutes to breathe. Your life will be better for it.