I have had some of my most exciting professional years as a classroom teacher working with 7th or 8th graders to teach them that literature and grammar are intrinsically awesome (because they are). I LOVED busting a rhyme rapping about current events or some classroom event. I LOVED breaking out into song to teach my kiddos how to remember that a gerund was an -ing word and how they could use gerunds in a sentence. I adored finding inventive ways to to help my students learn and then apply that knowledge in real-world relevant scenarios. I miss the relationships my students and I built one-on-one and as a whole class. Each class period had its own personality and felt much like its own sit-com. We never stopped laughing…well except when someone acted in poor judgement. Believe it or not, in a middle school classroom, that happened from time-to-time.
So yes, I do miss being a classroom teacher at times.
I also don’t miss it. Thankfully, these two conflicted feelings aren’t mutually exclusive. There are aspects that I do not miss, but beyond the typical answers most teachers would offer (“To many politics!”, “Hovercraft parents!”, “Not being treated like a professional.”, etc., etc.) I honestly do not miss all of the paperwork and for the most part, that’s it. I felt pretty solid in knowing that I had accomplished most of what I wanted to accomplish while I worked as an ELA teacher. More importantly, I am SO excited by the way in which my new position offers me the opportunity to work with a variety of teachers on a variety of projects. If anything, I find that there are certain projects that I come across that I would love to do with a group of kiddos, but now I look for teachers who are interested in trying these projects and get to chronicle how they go through the exploration and implementation of these projects and broadcast it to the rest of the Cobb Count School District. Now, I am able to do something I feel that we teacher folk tend to fail in doing: promoting the awesomeness we are doing!
As I learn the ins and outs of being the Digital Transformation Coach, I enjoy the amount of personal and professional growth that I can continue to experience beyond what I learned from being a teacher. There, most of what I learned as a teacher was about myself and it was powerful. Now I can translate that into a role that helps me serve others and learn more in the process.
…this isn’t to say that you still won’t find me randomly popping into a classroom and occasionally (with the teacher’s permission) acting silly with the kiddos and tricking them into learning some random, but useful factiod.