The coach turned teacher, turned mom, turned tutor, and Teachers Pay Teachers Author.
There are a lot of teachers out there who blog and go on about how they love the kids. Don’t get me wrong I like kids and I am truly talented at working with them, but I didn’t become a teacher because they are so cute. It’s where my talent is. I’m passionate about helping kids understand academic subjects in school so they can pursue their big dreams.
Where I Started
My roots as a teacher began when I started as a student instructor at my gymnastics studio at 13 years old. I loved the sport and even though I wasn’t very good as a gymnast I found I was great as a coach. I could find new ways to explain skills to students. I loved to watch them get a trick they worked hard on. I love it so much that I still coach a few hours a week to this day.
Finding My Career
After college, I floated around trying to figure out how to use my BLA. I worked as a barista at Starbucks, where I met my husband. I left to teach at daycare until I earned my teaching license. Once I had my teaching license I worked as a paraprofessional in a public school while I earned my master’s degree.
Getting my master’s degree did not guarantee me my own classroom. I spent years bouncing to different long-term sub positions. I was always second in line for landing a permanent job. It was frustrating and heartbreaking.
My Dream Job
I finally found a school that had an amazing culture. The administration was helpful and supportive. There were supplies for projects and the classes were never bigger than 15 kids. I was a learning center teacher there. About half the population of the school was on an IEP, however, in this school accommodations were universal. No one was singled out. I worked with every student who needed help with any assignment in the 5/6th grade classrooms.
Fast forward a few years. While I was pregnant with my baby I found out I would be taking over our school lead teacher’s classroom. She was leaving the classroom to focus her attention on administration tasks as Assistant Head of School. I was finally going to have my own room after maternity leave. Knowing this made it easier to return to work after my baby boy was born.
I finished off the school year in the position I had been waiting for, classroom teacher. I was in the groove of correcting work, setting assignments, being a mom, getting housework done, and handling daycare.
Returning to work after summer break proved to be a harder experience. I had been coaching gymnastics for a few hours in the evenings. My baby was used to me leaving for short periods. He was still taking bottles while I coached. I had a full two weeks off from everything before school started. I thought it would be a nice break. I could really slow down and breathe.
Becoming A SAHM (Stay At Home Mom)
Once I returned to work he refused to take a bottle again. The most anyone got him to drink from a bottle was 1oz in a full workday. He was only 8 months. If you don’t have kids of your own I will tell you that he was not getting enough nutrients. The doctor checked for ear infections, we tried mixing milk into his food, and my job let him come in to nurse or let me leave early. (What an amazing flexible school, right?)
After 7 weeks of my baby just crying at daycare and barely holding it together for grandma I decided to leave my dream job, the job I had been waiting for for 10 years.
I was devastated about it, but I knew it was the right choice. I wasn’t doing anything well. I was panicked all the time about him eating. He was stressed and sad, I was worried, and my students were not getting the teacher they deserved. I knew it would be hard on us financially, but cutting expenses would be worth it to be there for my baby.
It’s been just over a year since I made that decision. I spent last year focused on the baby and the house. As Covid-19 shut everything down, I know teaching online with a toddler at home would have been close to impossible. It only confirmed that I was glad we were home together.
A New Path and Project
Before Covid-19, I had wanted to try to return to the classroom in the fall of 2020, but we decided to wait. I have asthma which makes me high risk and my toddler was not ready for a transition back to daycare.
But I was ready to start something.
My sister had told me once that there were other ways I could teach. There were other paths I could take. It was time to explore these other options.
That brings me here. I am working as a tutor to help some students who need extra support in remote and hybrid learning. I am also working on putting some of the best lessons I ever taught on Teachers pay Teachers. I am raising my separation anxiety toddler full time, while I apply my teaching knowledge in whole new ways.