I have worked in a lot of different places throughout my life. I've worked for family in a family owned business that we had for 40 years. And don't give me wrong, that was a physically and mentally demanding job. We moved trees and shrubs, planted them, we worked in the fields. When I was 6 months pregnant, I was still unloading tractor trailers full of plants because that's what you did. You did whatever it took for the business to be successful.
And then I went into sales and had to depend upon a commission and a quota to help support my family. Knock on doors and get alot of them slammed in my face and that was a emotionally draining job.
Then I went to work for corporate America and I worked for a large defense contractor. I learned a lot about bureaucracy and red tape and the way things work behind the scenes. I learned that sometimes you would rather not look behind the curtain. I moved up pretty quickly and I worked hard to prove myself in the professional setting.
I learned a lot about interpersonal relationships how to work with people who I had never known before. I made some of the greatest friendships that I have encountered but also learned that working there was not something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
So I followed my dream and went into teaching.
I have to tell you that this past couple of months, has been the most exhausting work that I think that I have ever done.
When I worked at for that corporate America my biggest challenge was when I managed approximately 30 people. I had to do performance evaluations and monitor their work and discipline and so on, however now I do that for almost 150 kids every single day and their future depends upon it.
I teach math and the reason I chose math is because they have to have logical thinking skills and understand how to solve problems to be successful in today's world. It's not always going to be why equals 2X +3, that's not the being good at solving problems that I'm necessarily talking about. It's understanding the rules and the steps that math teaches you. Learning how to follow those and work within the boundaries of those rules and modify them for what works for you but still work with in them. Those are the skills that kids need to be successful today, the actual skills that I think is the goal of common core, and those are the skills that I'm trying to teach. I'm trying to teach them to think outside the box, to look for answers on their own, to not learn one way to solve a problem. In my class we use a variety of tools to accomplish this.
At the end of the day I'm emotionally and physically and mentally and spiritually drained. But it's a kind of drained that you get after you have given it your all and you are exhausted from it. It's a good drained. A drain of exhaustion that you know that in someway you're maybe making a difference because not all of these kids come from the greatest home. I'm sure some of them are struggling with some really heavy stuff and for them to be successful at one small part of their day could mean the world to them. To know that one person cares and wants to help them that's what I'm here for.
I know that throughout this past year as hard as it's been on my family, that God has put me exactly in the place where I'm supposed to be an in the moment I'm supposed to be here. My hat goes off to all of those teachers out there that have done this day in and day out for days and weeks and years and on and on and on. You are the unspoken heroes of our society. You are making a difference. You are making this a better world place.