|Jenny, these are for you!|
It's nice, actually, not to feel stressed and nervous about setting up a classroom, settling in new students, or meeting new parents. It's also sad. I do miss a lot of what made me happy to be a teacher: amazing kids who actually loved English, hanging with my bad-ass staff buddies, and feeling challenged at my job. But I have to be really honest at this time of year. There is a LOT that I don't miss. People undervaluing my career. Working endless hours at home to prep and grade papers. Defending myself to helicopter parents. None of those things make me want to go back to work.
I have come to realize that many of the things I adored about teaching, I can still have. And without the negatives.
- I can still surround myself with like minded people and have discussions about a wide range of topics (yes maybe those topics may occasionally be Sandra Boynton instead of Shakespeare, but still).
- I can be inspired and creative every day. Often the artistic side of me felt pushed into the background by the language lover in me at school, so being at home has helped me foster that much more! Jude is the best guinea pig and student I've ever had. He'll try anything and never tells me I'm lame.
- I can still inspire and create with kids. I'm working on expanding this part, as my current focus is clearly on Jude, his small circle of friends, and the day care kiddos. I am thinking of starting a Mommy and Me art/story class, so that would be a nice push in that direction.
- I can still read. And write. I do miss my creative writing class, where I would sit with my students and actually write for 30 minutes daily. It was incredible. I don't know why I never thought to do it on my own! I bought a new journal, visited the adult stacks of the library (alone!), and am now thoroughly enjoying a small amount of book nerd me time every day.
I have decided to embrace this September as a time to get out own little play-school at home refocused. We'll hopefully be welcoming some new friends to the day care, and getting that class I mentioned up and running. Jude is now a super active, curious, and intelligent toddler, and thanks to him, I am a far better teacher than I ever was before. I just never realized that being a mother would make that happen. Teaching your child how to, well, how to everything, puts classroom practice and training into real perspective.
We'll just see how long I can hold off on introducing him to iambic pentameter.