As we approach the end of May, (how that can be I’m just not sure) I enter into a cyclical period of reflection. As a teacher, the end of the year is a time to reflect on all that we have accomplished, all that worked well, and all that didn’t work regardless of it’s intentions. This year is no different. In fact, I find myself more consumed with school than ever and loving it. The hiccup is that I also find myself more and more consumed with my creative world as well. For too long I’ve felt these worlds pull against one another. That is until recently, when I came to the light and realized that I don’t have to have one or the other, I can have both, and have had both. So it’s time to figure out how to do so in a healthy way.
It’s no secret that I am a creative and a teacher, it’s in my name, Pink Slip Inspiration. My pink slip from teaching was the happy misfortune that has brought me to this venture; however, what I’ve realized over the past few years of teaching and creating simultaneously is that I’ve seen just how many other women are in the same exact boat, and killing it might I add! The creative world is so welcoming to women and men alike who work several jobs and harbor different interests in their life. I haven’t found the same understanding in education and the reason is obvious… we’re already swamped with too much work, so what sane person would add another job to their plate!? I know, I get it. I ask myself those questions weekly. So why do we do it? I’ve spent hours ruminating on this subject and I have a few ideas.
We’re lifelong learners
Teachers are lifelong learners; it’s in our nature. This is what has us adjusting to Common Core standards, learning new ways to implement technology in the classroom, experimenting with new classroom management skills, and figuring out new ways to make our classrooms a safe haven of fun. I teach my high schoolers, daily, that the information they learn in my room will benefit them in “real life,” so naturally, here I am applying the knowledge I impart to my kiddos in my metaphorical “real life” outside the classroom.
We’re more than teachers
I know our students are shocked to see us in real life when we’re spotted in our natural habitat, but it’s true, we do have lives outside of school. We don’t sleep in cots in our classrooms and bathe in the locker room. We have families, personal interests, hobbies, and multiple talents. It’s time to celebrate the wholeperson. Yes, I am a teacher, but I am also a creative, a wife, a friend, a daughter and sister. All of these things make up who I am as a person. When I focus too closely on my responsibilities as a teacher, the rest of me suffers. And guess what, my teaching suffers too. And vice versa. While I should be grading argumentative essays on 1984 this evening, I’m writing this blog post instead. Before I began writing I was exhausted. It’s the end of May and school is almost over, it’s the hardest time of the year. One meme recently stated, “Heck, I’m lucky to be alive!” and I know you feel me on this. But as I write this post my energy levels are revving back up and heck, I still might have the energy to grade those essays tonight. When I invest in myself outside of teaching, I become a better teacher. I’m full of energy, the creative juices flow and I “think outside the classroom” so to speak. So I challenge you, invest in one thing that’s just for you and see how your teaching improves.
I thrive off of personal relationships
I love English and literature and a good book, but I got into teaching to get in to the business of people, well-rounded people. Every class of mine starts off with two simple questions, “How are you today?” and “What’s up?” I’m just taking the temperature of the room and we talk for two or three minutes about life outside the classroom before we get down to business. These connections are what make teaching so enjoyable for me. But at the end of the day I don’t want to have another conversation with a fifteen year old; I need some real, adult conversation. Cue this blog and the awesome online community. I love unplugging with all of you on a daily basis and building adult relationships.
So it’s time to bridge the divide and really celebrate all that I am, my wholeperson. I hope you’ll join me in celebrating all that you are. Pink Slip is constantly evolving and as it does I make this one promise to myself and to you, I will always remember to work towards creating a better wholeperson for the benefit of myself and all others dear to me in life. So as I move forward, you’ll see ALL that I am in true representation of my wholeperson and I hope it will encourage you to do the same ☺