I took a year leave of absence this year, which led to a resignation for my future years. It was a long, hard, tear filled decision to make. I was born to be a teacher. I know that in my heart. I was born to share knowledge and give kind words, helping hands, support, and encouragement to those around me. I have been told that I am engaging and fun to learn from, that I keep things interesting, that I share too much, or don’t share enough which made them think. I love teaching. I love the interactions and the “lightbulb” moments. I love the pride on faces when they finally “get” it. I love the kids when they cry and throw things, I love the kids when they sit and read with me. I love every aspect of what I do/did.
You see, this leave of absence (turned resignation) did not mean I gave up what I love. It changed what I love. I am still a teacher. I was teaching math and reading and writing all day and then teaching karate all night. Now, my new normal, is teaching karate. But I have realized that it is not just punching and kicking. It is so much more than that. I still see the kids with the “lightbulb” moment when they finally figure out how to make their body do what they want it to do. I see kids “get” it when they work with partners and accomplish something difficult. I am building leaders through my leadership program. I hear from parents how cool it is to see a 8 year old boy stand up and lead a class of 4-6 year old kids in warm-ups and have them engaged in what he is doing for 10 minutes. I hear from adults how my “kid” speak helps them understand what they should do in a form. I hear about how my students stood up to a bully, or have raised their grades, or caught a grounder because they moved their feet first. I am teaching life skills in the guise of kicking and punching. I am teaching leadership skills disguised as partner work. And I am teaching self-confidence hidden by warm-ups. These kids don’t even know the lasting impression this will have on them.
This leave of absence (turned resignation) did not mean I gave up what I love. It changed what I love. I am still a mom teacher. Now, my new normal, is being home with my kids in the morning. I kiss their faces goodbye before they get in the car to go to school with their dad. I am there to make sure homework is done and to answer any questions they have. I now have time to sign them up for other activities like dance, or soccer, or musicals, or piano lessons. They know they matter to me and I know I matter to them. Mom is no longer someone who is seen for 5 minutes a day and on the weekend. I am around to watch them grow and guide them along the way. These kids don’t even know the lasting impression this will have on them.
This leave of absence (turned resignation) did not mean I gave up what I love. It changed what I love. I am still me. Now, my new normal, means I make my own hours. Yes things are set in my schedule, like class times and activity times, but I can choose to work from home, or stay at the studio. I no longer have this pressure to be everything to everyone. Monday-Wednesday, I work at the studio. Thursday I teach in the morning and go home and work from home a few hours. Friday is work on the crazy house day (see my post about the bathroom from 2 days ago). Saturday is half studio and half family. Sunday is all family all the time. My new normal is at my pace, my choice, my control. I am teaching myself something everyday. I won’t even know the lasting impression this will have on me.
My new normal, quickly becoming just normal.