How Are You Doing with Your ‘One Word’?

I wasn’t “called” to be a teacher.

I became a teacher, because at the time, it was the easiest thing for me to do.

In high school, I had little idea of what I wanted to do with my life. At one point, I wanted to become a beautician. (Those of you who know me, are probably very entertained by this, I’m sure.)

When I went off to college and declared my major, it wasn’t Education. It was English and Journalism.

But while taking an Introduction to Journalism class, I began to question whether or not I was on the right path, because I felt… uncomfortable.

And by uncomfortable, I mean scared. I was heading into the unknown. I didn’t feel knowledgeable.

And I was afraid of failing.

My discomfort convinced me to switch my major to Elementary Education (keeping English as my minor because 1.) I loved reading literature and writing, and 2.) I had too many credits built up to abandon it.)

I knew school.

School was predictable.

And I was good at school. Spent a lot of years there, as a matter of fact.

I was good at being a teacher. Or at least that’s what the nice people who wrote my reviews told me. I was dedicated, often spending part of my weekends in a sweltering (summertime) or frigid (winter) classroom getting ready for the following week. According to testing data, my students made progress. I was a team player. I was open to change. I piloted new curriculum. I served on committees.  I was a reflective practitioner. (That’s fancy teacher talk for ‘I analyzed student data and thought deeply about whether or not what I was doing was making kids smarter’.)

And, I had a sense of humor, which was an asset. Or at least it was most of the time. The exceptions being situations involving someone who didn’t have one.

And truthfully, there are aspects of teaching I miss.

I miss most of my coworkers. (Especially the ones laughing right now.) I was incredibly fortunate to work with some amazing people. There were those who made me laugh, there were those who pushed me to be a better teacher, and there were those who inspired me to be a better person.

I miss those relationships.

I miss the excitement of the start of the school year. Gathering new supplies. Organizing my classroom. Planning for the year.

I miss teaching writing. Gathering books to serve as mentor texts, listening to students’ observations about the genre being studied, watching students’ excitement build as they began drafting.

I miss sitting next to a student and conferencing with them about their writing.

I especially miss this.

Because these were the times I learned the most about my students.

And not just as writers.

As people.

But there is so much I don’t miss.

Most notably, the feeling I had on many Sunday nights.

Testing.

Grading.

Rubrics.

Competition.

Parents. (Not all of them, mind you. Just a few.)

Meetings.

Not being able to use the bathroom when I needed.

The week before Christmas.

The day of a full moon.

At any rate, here I am.

An entire school year removed from the teaching world.

‘Living the ‘good life’, as my youngest likes to tell me.

And she is right. There is much about this life I am loving.

I am enjoying freedom. The only structure being self imposed. Which, btw, I am pretty good at. I thrive on organization and routine.

I enjoy watching GMA while sipping a cup of coffee. (FYI…my bed is made by 8:00 in the morning, except on Mondays—laundry days.)

I enjoy being able to accompany my husband when he travels.

I enjoy being able to visit my kids any time of year.

I enjoy focusing on the process, rather than the endgame of everyday tasks.

I enjoy being able to run when I want to.

I enjoy quality Jesus time.

So. Much. Good.

And yet…

while I have no regrets, I am not content. I have this nagging feeling I need to be doing more with my life. And I have been praying and praying for God to tell me what exactly that might be.

I look at my husband and all that he has accomplished professionally.

I look at my kids working so hard to achieve their dreams.

And then, there is me.

The me who chose the word ‘ACTION’ as her ONE WORD for 2019.

The me who understands God provides opportunities.

The me who understands that while God can provide an opportunity, He’s not going to do the work.

So today, despite my many fears, that’s exactly what I have done.

Today I registered for a course in copywriting.

I have the passion to write.

I have the desire to learn.

And no matter what God has planned for me as far as the bigger picture is concerned, I feel this was meant to be part of my journey.

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6 thoughts on “How Are You Doing with Your ‘One Word’?

  1. Karen,

    I was getting ready to tell you what to do (my own personal calling!) when I read that you signed up for a copywriting class. Good for you! I hope this goes well and becomes a part of you wonderful fabric of accomplishments.

    You are indeed living a wonderful life:)
    Libby
    PS: I’m gonna tell you anyway! Have you checked out your local library yet? Ours has a tutoring program for people that want to learn to read and write better. There is some lesson planning, scheduled meeting times with a beginning and end, and probably as much involvement as you choose. The idea might combine some things that you loved as a teacher and might be missing.

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    1. Now THAT’S a personal calling! I need people like you in my life! Guess what I’m going to do tomorrow? Yep. Good thing you heeded your call. I truly appreciate your gentle nudge to get me going! Take care, my friend.

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  2. For what it is worth, you move me every time we speak or text. And, you move me each time I read your blog. I thank you for sharing so much– #growth

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m just becoming a reader of your blog. (i hear AMAZING reviews from my mom, one of your biggest fans!). You captured the heart of teaching and the challenges beautifully. Thanks for representing up:) You have earned this time to reflect and take the time to explore new opportunities. Enjoy!

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    1. I love your mom! She is such a special lady. Miss having her close by! And thank you for reading, Jenn! I appreciate it! Hope you are doing well, my friend. Enjoy your summer!

      Like

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