Posts Tagged With: teaching and learning

examining this concept of calling

*W A R N I N G*

This post is going to be straight stream of consciousness writing.
You may find yourself asking, ‘And how is that any different from anything else you write?’ (You also may find yourself having no fucks to give.)
Either way, it’s one of those moments when there are thoughts, and they’re fully hatched, but I’m not sure what to make of them. Or I may not even know exactly what I’m thinking/writing about.

Finding creative ways to live comfortably in one household as one big family while still being two small families is challenging.
Thing 1 and I created a plan for food. Husband N is going on job interviews. YBW continues to keep his work schedule. Running this house with more people and three dogs has proved tricky, but at this point I feel like we’re finally hitting our groove.

In the last two weeks, I sourced nearly all the materials for the double bathroom remodel and construction begins this week.
We’re still making practical and design decisions for the new house. I’m exploring different closet systems to find the best fit, function, and price.

School started this week. I can’t even imagine what subbing will look like in this distance-learning situation. I’ve had no training with the virtual system, and no resources are available no matter where I look or who I ask.
I may simply mark myself unavailable for the time being.

In addition to all these ‘normal’ goings on I am plagued by the blood curdling existential pain of being trapped in a constant feedback loop of trying to figure out what I’m going to “do with my life”.

Every time I start to bring it up with YBW, I feel like I don’t have his undivided attention, or it’s a bigger conversation than he’s willing to participate in at that moment.
I brought it up to Thing 2, and she asked for time to let it marinate before she got back to me. Of course she’s become preoccupied with her own life. As she should be! She just started a new job, that’s a huge deal for her.
Thing 1 was willing to have this conversation with me, but we didn’t actually get anywhere, mostly because it was in the car, on the way home from the grocery store.

I kind of got stuck at the idea that initially sparked the conundrum.
What’s a calling?

In true Roby fashion, this sparked more questions:
Is it luck to be employed in one’s calling?
What’s the difference between a job and a career?
How can I help others?
Does helping others help me?
How can I do what I believe is my calling as a way to earn money?
Is this actually my calling?
(y’all get the picture)

It wasn’t that long ago that I felt so certain about grad school for mental health counseling.
Then I didn’t get in. Then I started looking at other schools. Then I realized what it would actually cost (45K) and that freaked me out.
Then it occurs to me that I could get my masters in instructional design in 18 months for about (10K) and teach people new and interesting ways to teach.
But I’m not sure that’s what I actually want to do.

This is when I chose to stop and examine my life.

I wanted to be a mom literally as long as I can remember.
My first calling.
I did it! And if I do say so myself, I did a damn fine job.

I became a teacher by accident. But found I loved it.
Being with kids is great, but not how I long to spend the rest of my working days.
In this moment it occurs to me that teaching isn’t my calling as much as education is. My passion for education, and brain development, and learning styles is what truly inspires me.
Teaching and learning about education is my calling…?

I feel in need of a new career path.

I am ridiculously passionate about mental health care.
But would I actually be a good therapist?
It’s been pointed out to me that I tend to talk more than listen…

I am ridiculously passionate about learning through play, alternative learning styles and environments, and teaching and learning in unconventional ways.
Can I help others learn different ways of teaching and learning together?

If I spend all that money to get this degree and find I don’t like or am not really good at it, what do I do then?
I’ll eventually have to get a proper job. I mean we won’t starve or be homeless because I’m not working, but at some point I’ll have to do something.
So is that working with people from a mental health point of view?
Is it teaching people innovative ways to teach others? Children and adults.

I don’t know.
I’m really trying to examine this concept of calling.

If my calling was to be a mom, I was amazing at it, and still do an excellent job being the mom of adults. But it’s not an active sort of job. For the most part those active days are over. Now it’s mostly listening and offering suggestions, and sometimes monetary assistance.
Teaching became my calling by accident, and I loved so many things about it. But I know I’m not meant to be in a classroom as I move forward.

So this idea of being a helper, a guide, using my intuition to counsel people who need to look at things from a different point of view…it fits me.
I know I’m meant to be a service person. But in what capacity?
Or, can I be a helper, a guide, using my intuition to teach people innovative ways to teach others?
Is becoming a therapist my new calling?
Is becoming an educator of educators my new calling?

Do I let money stand in the way of what I believe to be my calling?
Do I settle for the next best thing?

How do I even know what is my calling?
This is constantly playing in the background of my brain.
While I’m playing with the baby.
While I’m managing the construction here.
While I’m planning things for the new house.
This never ending feedback loop about my calling and a career path…

I am always asking these questions.
I can’t seem to put my finger on the answer.
I find it frustrating.

I want to jump feet first into my calling.
Is it really my calling?

As you see, the cycle just continues…

You may find yourself wondering why I’m worrying myself about this right now while all these other things are going on. (You also may find yourself having no fucks to give. Either way, we’re still cool.)
I’m a doer.
I’m always asking, ‘What’s next?’
I know when we get settled in the new house it will be time for me to do something productive. I want to be ready for whatever that is.
Is that productive thing my calling?
Do I have the luxury of more than one calling in my lifetime?
Is it that managing the project of getting this house ready and planning and choosing things to get the new house ready simply don’t fulfill me?
Does one’s calling fulfill one?

All the Roby questions with no Roby answers.
Twas ever thus…

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Friday feels

Today is the first day I’ve stopped and taken a big breath this week.
I needed it!
Of course, stopping and breathing gave me the opportunity to be all in my feels.

gratitude
Even though it took two full weeks, Thing 2’s covid test came back negative
I got to hug Meredith and her Mommy when their family returned from a forty-five day cross-country trip
My gloriously supportive friends who encourage me to think outside the box

than central air

joy
YBW and I put down the deposit for our house yesterday, and will sign the contract Wednesday

excitement
Road trip with YBW (we leave for GA in the morning and return with Thing 1’s family on Monday)
Baby K will be here all the time
I’m going to tutor select students this virtual school year (kind of like being an ‘at home’ substitute teacher)

It was an exceptionally great week to be me!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

worried but grateful

Our governor announced that Virginia schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year.
I am sad. And to be perfectly honest, sad isn’t a big enough word.

I’m sad for my school family.
I’m sad for my neighborhood kids.
I’m sad for the high school seniors who won’t experience the wonderful ritual of their senior year. No skip day. No prom. No graduation.

I’m worried for these kids.
For these educators. Y’all, if you don’t know, they are broken-hearted about not being in the classroom with their kids. I’m broken-hearted not to be in the classroom.
I miss being at school.
I miss being around kids and adults, teaching and learning together.
I’m worried because YBW had to go back to work today. Is he safe? Will he be exposed? Will he bring it home?

I am grateful that I am not sick. That none of my family is sick.
I am grateful I’m not worried about how to keep the lights on, or where our next meal is coming from.
I’m grateful for internet and streaming services and books and wine.
I am grateful that I have the ability to write about how this feels.

I’m reminded of something Hagrid tells Harry in the Philosopher’s Stone. “It was dark times, Harry, dark times.”
My heart hurts today.
But I’m quietly hopeful.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

how I spend my days

My kids decided we needed a hair and nail salon in our classroom. So after about two weeks of hard work creating shampoo chairs, hanging hairdryers, a pedicure station, and asking for donations we’re ready!
Yesterday was the Grand Opening of Sound Stage Salon (The kids chose the name.)

before the ribbon cutting ceremony

before the ribbon cutting ceremony

Some friends decided to take a shave.
P1050958.2
They actually got quite good at this.

One little friend decided it was time for me to stop taking photos and have my hair done.
P1060027

He worked really hard to make me ‘fancy’.
P1060028

This transformation of our dramatic play area was completely their idea. We designed and built and play in it together and will continue to do so until we’re no longer interested.
The kids enthusiasm and excitement are contagious! Our administrators and other teachers have requested to come have their hair and nails done to the extent that we had to create an appointment book. Mommies and Daddies are beginning to ask for appointments too.
I love teaching and learning with three and four year olds!

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