In my wildest dreams I never would have thought I'd become an educator. I'm not a morning person. I'm pretty introverted. I don't consider myself a "people person." Yet here I am celebrating my eleventh first day of school. Hundreds of students have touched my life and I can only hope that I have done the same.
I look back over my journey in the classroom and wonder where would I be had I not become an educator. Would I have been a doctor like I had initially intended? Would I be married with kids- a homemaker? Would I have gone into business administration and possibly own my own company? I have no idea. But what I do know is that this path was best for me.
Over the years, I've contemplated quitting. I've been angry and hurt. I've been discouraged and lost. I've felt so alone, with no one to talk to or express my feelings. I've thought I was the only one. But I'm not. I've seen so many seemingly passionate and caring individuals come into the classroom only to be beaten down and lost in the hustle and bustle of paperwork, endless meetings, and curricula that make you more robotic than human. These teachers-in-the-making left the profession before they could even leave their mark. Disillusioned. Dazed. Disenchanted. Not realizing how much of an asset they really could have been. In a way, I wished the teachers who left gave themselves a chance. So I set out to be one of the ones who would help them accomplish that task.
I decided to be an unofficial mentor to whomever would come my way and give them the assistance I wished I'd had as a first, second, and third year teacher.
So I wrote a book. I never intended for it to become a memoir. I wanted it to be a devotional. I wanted to provide my fellow educators with words of encouragement that could sustain them and give them the extra boost to make it through those long school days. But in doing so, I felt that it needed to be more personal. How could I help someone without sharing my personal experiences in the same situation? If I didn't make it personal, I wouldn't be trusted. If I didn't make it personal, the things I spoke of would only seem theoretical. And I'm a practical person if I do say so myself. I set out to tell my fellow educators what I learned as a result of being in the classroom. What I learned from the students and their situations. What I learned from my colleagues. What I learned from my own life experience as a single mother who happened to be an educator.
And so The Life of an Educator: What My Teacher Education Program Didn't Teach Me was born. I can't wait to read the reviews. But more than anything, I truly hope that it touches and helps those who, like me, were unsure of their capabilities and their purpose. I hope my voice awakens that of another individual who feels as lost and out of place as I did in the classroom. We have to stand together in this profession- or we will all fail.