While being home on maternity leave I have been contemplating becoming a stay-at-home mom. It is hard to spend my days cuddling my baby, doing art projects with my 2-year-old and then remember that I have to go back to work.
At times the idea of leaving my own children to go teach someone else’s children seems almost wrong. A little voice in my head keeps saying, “What you love about teaching is the creative projects, reading books, and introducing new concepts to kids. Can’t you do that with your own children?”
This nagging little voice has been playing over and over again in my head (alongside the Frozen soundtrack) as I make plans to return to my school in the fall. I grudgingly check work emails to try to stay connected and then quickly close them to get another snuggle with my baby. Do I really want to go back to work?
Yet yesterday as I was leaving the grocery store I ran into one of my former students. Trying to grab my own daughter’s hand to cross the parking lot I spotted his family pushing his chair toward us and my heart immediately leapt.
I suddenly found myself sitting on the sidewalk, disregarding my dress or the fact I had a baby strapped to me so that I could be eye level with him. Although he doesn’t talk his eyes said it all. He recognized me, was intrigued by my baby, and was excited to show me the sticker book he was holding in his lap.
As I chatted with his family he held out a sticker to my 2-year-old, wanting to include her in the conversation the only way he could. The encounter was no more than five minutes but it filled me with joy.
As we parted and I walked across the parking lot with my girls in tow, I caught myself looking forward to being back at school next fall. The feeling surprised me, and then forced me to make a sudden realization.
Of course I am going back to work next fall.
I miss the kids.
In fact, I love the kids.
What’s more, I love teaching.
I love challenging my students.
I love introducing them to new concepts.
I love watching their breakthroughs.
I love laughing with them, developing relationships with them and watching them grow.
I am a teacher. Nothing can change that. It is not just a profession, but a calling. My own girls are my loves and I will always teach them as well, but I am a special education teacher.
Thank you for sharing this year with me at Reality 101. This year was not what I expected it to be when I applied to be a blogger. But like any year of teaching special education it was full of challenges, learning curves, failures, successes, celebrations and lots and lots of laughter.
I am looking forward going back to school in the fall. Please follow my teaching adventures on my personal blog at welcometoorganizedchaos.com.