Good Morning, Teacher

I was sitting on the front steps with my daddy, both of us staring out at the street and watching the leaves rumble and the cars creep into our neighbor’s driveway.

“You should think about becoming a teacher.”

“Yeah, I’ve thought about that.”

“You’re great with kids, and it’s a real solid career.”

This is how I remember it, anyway. And so a seed that was planted when I was a little girl - that I could be a teacher, just like Mrs. Haight, or Mrs. Altamira, or Mrs. Kiel, or Mrs. Stoel, my erudite heroines who saw me and nurtured me and taught me to read and taught me to belong. I loved my teachers desperately and completely. I thought they were the kindest, most complete and whole and lovely people on the planet. And they were.

Of course I wanted to be a teacher, too. I imagined what it would be like to sit with a little kiddo who was struggling with understanding why rain falls or why grass is wet in the mornings or how to figure out a word on a page.

I loved this dream, I cherished this dream, and I took action for this dream.

Eleven years in, I’m “leaving the classroom.”

It’s a euphemism we use when we step out of this four-walled space where students come and go and we teach, and we plan, and we prep, and we grade, and we work. I am a teacher. I will never not be a teacher. I only want my daily life to look a little bit different for a little while.

I’m tired. I’m thirsty for more.

More growth, more change, more connection, more impact.

I am so grateful for every single student that has crossed my path. I hope I’ve made a positive difference somewhere, a ripple in a quick river current that will someday erode mountains of distrust or a grain of sand that will start to build a mountain of compassion.

Because every time I helped you, my students, you were helping me and breathing hope into my lungs.

And it’s time to see what more I can dream.