How can I teach children to dream if I’m not following my own?
How can I tell children they can be whatever they want to be if I’m not living to what I believe is my full potential?
How can I give my all to children who need that and more, when I’m not really sure of my own purpose?
Those are all questions that came to mind when I decided not to return to the field of teaching early childhood education.
Actually, it was a little more than that.
The slow integration of more and more standards, the unrealistic expectations from parents because of what they believed they knew about early childhood education, the pay… obviously.
But for almost two years, I was able to look past those things for the greater good of society, sometimes even looking at my fellow teachers and thinking, “Man, my kid would NEVER be in your classroom.”
(Though to no fault of their own. Many early childhood educators are SEVERELY undertrained.)
Reflecting on my short stint in teaching, I realized that while I may have been helping kids grow – fostering their growth – I was also stunting my own. I thoroughly enjoyed working with my students, but I couldn’t help wondering if teaching was even… me.
Sure I knew what I needed to know to be able to give students the best experience I could. Sure I had my degree and specialized certification. Sure I had been trained in some of the best facilities in the country.
But was teaching really… me?
The answer was no.
A strong no.
And as I live the lifestyle that I do now as a romance author and book blogger, having a sense of freedom while also learning how to exercise self-discipline to fit my “writing needs”, I realized that it was impossible for me to give my students everything they needed without first figuring out what I needed.
I needed a push, a challenge, a change of energy, a new scenery to really learn myself, what I’m good at, what I could work on, what consistencies I needed to implement and what terrible habits I needed to get rid of.
So again, how could I have all these questions about myself and still expect to give my all to students?
And not just any students, the most loving yet needy age range of students.
Gosh, I really do miss my babies.
Maybe I’ll go back one day.
Maybe I’ll find the perfect teaching situation where I’ll have free reign over my classroom.
Maybe the standards will change and become based on the skills children need to be productive members of society instead of based on a book of information deemed “important”.
But for now… I’m good.