For the past few years I have been pondering changing my career. It is not because I don't love what I do. I love it! I love teaching. I love creating lessons, implementing them, and interacting with kids on a daily basis to encourage them to learn in unique ways. But, I have been broken. I am not going to blame a person or place. I have just been broken. It took awhile for me to realize just how broken I am. But I finally realized it, and understand that I have to step a way for a little while. It is not stepping away for good, and it is not stepping away from working with kids...for it is not the kids that put the pressure on adults... it is adults that put pressure on other adults. In this fast paced, techno-savvy world it is hard to be what everyone wants you to be. It is hard to let go of what has been said to your face, but most of all hard to let go of what has been said behind your back.
So, I am pursuing a different path, one in which I am familiar. One that has taught me so much about myself, and my strengths. One in which I found my first family outside of my own. I am going back to the camping world. I feel like the camp world is one in which I feel the most happy. It uses my strengths, helps me in my weaknesses, and is a way for me to not be stuck inside four walls of a classroom.
I love camp. I love what camp does in the lives of kids. I love what it does in camp staff. I love how camp unites people, brings them together. I love how camp blurs the lines. Camp is what this world needs right now. Camp takes a shy kid and lets them explore life from a different view. Camp takes an energetic, leader and allows them experiences where they are unsure and look to others to lead. Camp changes lives.
Don't get me wrong...education, schools... they change lives too. In fact every single person that is alive has been impacted by education in some way or another. I love that I have been a small part of that for a handful of students across the world. I love that I know names of students studying in just about every country in Europe and Asia. I love that the impact of the classroom is fierce, and is making a difference in this world.
I don't love how I have been made to feel. I don't love that I do not feel valued or wanted. I don't love how I have been made to doubt myself and what I know to be true about who God created me to be. I don't love any of those things.
So... I am taking a step back. I don't see it as a failure, because every single experience I have had has led me to where I am today. Every single experience has allowed me to meet people, students, parents, administrators that have impacted my life in great ways. Some of those ways I will take as moments in time that have shown me what I need to improve on, and some of those moments I will take as moments that have shown me my worth. No matter what I am thankful. I am thankful for the gifts I have been given. I am thankful for the journey that is my life so far. Mostly I am thankful that God knew even before I did what my life was going to look like.
I am still a teacher. In my heart I will always be a teacher. Once you are called to teach, you never stop teaching. My teaching will just look a little bit differently. I am learning to embrace the different. I am learning to go after things that might be stretching me beyond what I think I am capable of. But I will never lose who I am. My brokenness is made new by grace. Every single day I am piece by piece put back together by words, encouragement, and the knowledge that it's okay to be a little broken. For the most beautiful of broken vases, is the one that is chipped cracked, and created into something new.