My mother used to tell me that if I find what I love to do, I’ll never work a day in my life. Well, it has taken me until I’m nearly 40 to know that feeling.
2 years ago I changed careers and became a middle school science teacher. My dad and I shared this passion for the world around us. I remember talking for hours about the “Big Bang Theory” with great excitement. it seemed like we lost our own concept of space and time once we got started. I also remember my mom telling me that at age 3 I started asking why and never stopped. It wasn’t long before she bought me my own set of encyclopedias to devour after I exhausted her with questions. I am lucky that both my parents supported my tireless interest in learning about the world around me.
I put everything I have into teaching my 7th graders life science and not only do I walk away exhilarated, I also look forward to getting up every morning at 5:45 for work no matter how bad the previous day was. Today is a new day. New attitude. New adventure.
This year I personally teach 175 students everyday. I teach all 5 periods in a row with lunch mostly spent with students or making things for class. I have roughly 35 students every class period and by the grace of God and some serious relationship building, I manage to keep their behavior in check while they actually learn something. After school, I run a STEM Club which allows the über nerds to have a special playground. We do experiments and competitions. I just love their enthusiasm and dedication. They inspire me every day in so many little and big ways.
Ironically, with all that intensity, I sometimes have to pinch myself that this is a job I get paid for. Not a hobby I love while I work a job I hate. This IS my job (for reals-as the kids say).
So imagine my excitement when. I found out I’m being nominated for Teacher of the Year!!! I almost cried when I was told. They said that I was one of the most engaging teachers they’ve ever seen. That everybody wants to be in my class because they have so much fun learning and for many of these student it’s their first time geting an “A” in science. They said how I go above and beyond in the classroom & outside with my club. Parents ask for their kid to be in my class (apparently). My enthusiasm is contagious.
I mean how cool is that!?! I feel like a rock star. I get to shape all these minds. Show them how fun science and learning really are. I get show them their potential and teach them how to think and feel that they are worthy of greatness.I get to know the unique way that 172 future leaders of this country really think and feel. I get to be a kid again because they think it’s cool that I’m always real with them. So they accept my nerdiness and goofiness, and bad science jokes. They also listen and behave respectfully when they know it’s time. I will never be a parent myself, but I am so honored for the privilege of teaching your child how to believe in themselves and get excited about the world around them.
I want to say thank you to all the people who helped me along the way – even those people who treated me poorly along the way. There are two sides to every coin and there are good and bad influences in your life. At some point, if you want to heal, you have to come to love them both. Without them – all of them – you would not be who you are.
All of these experiences finally directed me to my deep passion and a clear understanding of what it really means to “never work a day in your life”.
Are you living your dream? If not, give me a real reason you can’t start to change that.
With love from aneternaltraveler 😉