|Nothing brings me more calm that my beautiful Lake Michigan; here's hoping it brings calm to this confession!|
I have to admit that I had a crazy hard time sitting down to write this first post for the #kinderchat summer blog challenge. I could tell you a variety of mundane confessions like I'm slightly terrified to turn 30 next month or that I cannot fall asleep without the t.v. on or how my favorite snack is still a bag of dry cheerios (toddler style). But I am going to be brave and confess something that I've been reflecting on since the start of grad school and am still trying to find peace with. Ready? Please don't kick me out of our lovely little community...
I don't want to be a classroom teacher, to have my own classroom within a school or a center again. For a girl who thought of nothing more than being a classroom teacher all through undergrad and who got a masters in child development, this is a difficult thing to admit. For many reasons. Because it was always the plan to be a classroom teacher, I still feel as though I am letting a lot of people down. And obviously, I love and adore and deeply respect teachers.
The thing is, teaching in the traditional sense just isn't the direction in early childhood I want to focus. And, of course, I want to work in the early childhood field; how could I attend the graduate program I did and not want to stay in the field. I have a strong passion for play and learning and social justice. This I know. But I also know that the field of early childhood is a wide field and allows for a huge range of opportunities that are not all as classroom teachers.
I want to continue to advocate for children and families and play and learning and teachers and communities. I want to be a source of support for those professionals who care for our littlest learners, but still need someone to coach them and guide them and advocate for them (trust me, it's quite difficult to be an infant or toddler or 3's teacher with little training or support). I want to keep facilitating play and conversation among children and families in nontraditional settings (seriously, my job at the children's museum is still my favorite). I want to help build bridges between home care centers and preschool centers and primary schools. I want to use the child development knowledge crammed in my head combined with my classroom teaching experience and passions to do my part for the early childhood field.
So, no, I don't want to be a classroom teacher. But I do want to teach. It's just a broader definition of the word "teacher".
And while I still worry that I won't have a place to fit in or that I'll be rejected by the very same teachers I love and respect or that I'll always be working 5 part time jobs, I think I need to come to peace with my confession.
So there it is, my big early childhood confession.