Let me start off by saying that I have the best fourth graders in the world. These kids are intelligent, inquisitive, creative, caring, ambitious -- pretty much an ideal class. You should hear them when they talk, telling all their family's business and dreaming about their future. It chokes me up thinking about how amazing these kids are.
I remember being a young child playing school with my sisters and cousins, pretending that the kitchen was the cafeteria and my plate was a school tray. I remember reading high school books that teenagers would "forget" in the front yard. I remember helping my teacher grade papers and didn't care about the "teacher's pet" label.
Although I love teaching, my amazing fourth grade TEAM (I love those ladies), and coming up with creative solutions for a 21st century classroom, I do experience challenges like everyone else. Yes, I get the occasional disrespect, PAPER WORK (and tons of it), test stress, micro-management, and "interesting" co-workers. But of all those things, there's only one that conflicts with my soul:
My dreams of being a full-time creative writing entrepreneur.
Before I started "playing school" I was a little girl immersed in books. The moment I found out how to read them, I wanted to write them. And, I still do. I want to write series and series of books featuring characters that aren't normally found on bookshelves.
Most of all, I really want to write books for the kids in my classroom. I had a student ask me to write a mystery series because she loves mysteries but couldn't relate to any from the library. I told her I was on the case.
Through all of that ambition, I still find my endeavors challenging. My job is not a 7-3, go to school and come home type of gig like people think. It's not a September through June job with two months off in the summer. My job -- for those that are dedicated -- is around the clock, summers full of conferences, various training, and preparation for the following year. The nights consist of detailed lesson planning, grading papers, and creating projects for the students. It's not as easy as people think, neither is coming home from a full-time job, working on your dream part-time.