Updated: Dec 12, 2020
During the shelter in the place order since mid-March in California, I have had a lot of time to think about "Who I am" Who I am as an individual, who I am as a teacher, as a wife, as a daughter, as a sister, as a friend, a neighbor, as a citizen, as a mom to be, and so much more. This time has given me the moments in the day to reflect what is important to me, what I mean to myself, and what I mean to others.
Can I do more? Should I do less? Where should I put my time and energy? Is it for myself? My own gratitude? My own growth? Does it make me happy? Or is it for someone else, someone else's gratitude, growth, or happiness? Here is what I have concluded, I am a people pleaser, for the most part, I want people to like me, I hate when people are upset with me, and it is hard for me to say "no".
I also, live for doing things for others, not necessarily myself, so transitioning into motherhood with hours upon hours, to have personal time to do things for myself was a transition in itself. I have friends and family telling me. " sleep now, you will never sleep again" "watch Netflix all day, this won't be about you anymore." I find this difficult to do.
I am used to running around a classroom of 36 children ages 2.5-5 years old, meeting all their wants and needs with my fellow 3 assistant teachers. I am used to putting the needs of everyone before myself, and I am used to eating on the go, drinking water when I can, and downing my cup of coffee in the morning (pre pregnancy). I miss the beautiful chaos inside my classroom. It is however important for me to put up boundaries, especially as I am transitioning to motherhood, I really need to prioritize what I am passionate about and where I put my time and energy, for my growing family. With the times we are in forcing me to slow down, and my classroom empty, this is something completely different then what I was planning for as I near maternity leave. Being a teacher is a passion of mine, I love the moments I share with the children, the hugs, the talks, the circle times, the playtime, etc. I love facilitating conversations, challenging young minds, and encouraging imagination. Who am I without the classroom? I am still a teacher, I am a virtual teacher. I am a facilitator that connects with the children through virtual Storytime's, emailing families lesson plans, and activities for the children. Just because I am not in the classroom, doesn't mean that I am not a teacher. It is different however, I miss our hugs and daily conversations, but I am connecting in different ways, I am teaching in different ways. I have realized that I love being a teacher more than ever before, because of how much I miss those kids. The kids who will go off to kindergarten next year and how I never really wished them well, and said goodbye with a hug. I feel so sad for the kids who don't get their preschool graduation the traditional way, but one via zoom. I know it will be different, but it will b special. Who am I? I am here to support the children as a facilitator, the fellow teachers as a mentor, and the parents as a coach. I am here to make a difference, and I love being who I am. Am I just a teacher? No, I am so much more than just a teacher, but I sure do love being a teacher. Take a teacher out of her classroom? You will find her shining in her own way, through the virtual world.