Saturday, July 2, 2016

Stay put? Go back?

I wonder if I should start paying attention to my dreams more. On several mornings this past year I’ve woken from a dream in which I’m in the classroom, or I’m teaching, or I’m surrounded by kids, or I’m doing something teacherly – and then I wake up and feel like I’m missing something. Should I go back to the classroom?

I’ve been in this profession since 1990. Teaching has been my life. After 26 years in, however, teachers usually start looking at how many years they have left, when and how to retire. I've found myself doing the same. I know I'm not totally content in my current position. For the last two years I’ve been in a support role, coaching new teachers, providing professional development, running data, and going to meetings.

It’s just not as satisfying as the teacher life. There’s nothing like teaching kids how to write, reading with them, getting them excited about new things, and letting them figure things out for themselves. It’s fulfilling and heartbreaking and joyful to be responsible for a classroom kids who depend on you in different ways; you get to watch them grow, you form relationships with them, you push them and protect them. Teaching is how you move the world forward, how you connect with the future, how you keep dreams alive. I miss that.

Now, I know teaching isn’t what it used to be – and that if I were presently in the classroom, I would be complaining about the paperwork, the lesson plans, too much testing, demanding administrators, and disengaged parents, and the pointless meetings.

But I still miss teaching. And I know that, if it’s popping up in my dreams as often as it does, it’s because my soul is trying to tell me something.

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