Can I have a heart of gold and still survive in this world?
My father and I have been going back and forth about not being nice in this dog eat dog world. I am 27 years old and I have been on my own for 6 years, now. I teach middle school math about 3 hours from where my parents live. Initially my parents did not want me to leave my hometown, but knowing that I wanted to make it on my own I felt some distance would make me grow and learn. I have had some ups and down in life, but I feel all people do. My biggest thing was realizing that I have truly been sheltered and inexperienced. While I can still have my parents guidance, I feel that I needed to be able to face the world without having my hand held. Throughout these 6 years I had a hard time adjusting to teaching, but have stuck with it and finally LOVE IT!
I spent my first 3 years teaching at 1 school. My first year was horrible, as most first year teachers’ are. I was pretty immature and made mistakes. The next two years were nowhere near perfect, but much better than the first.
I decided to go to a larger district during my 4th year. The school I ended up in was ROUGH. The year was tough, I had to deal with some thieves and breaking up several fights. While the school was a pretty toxic environment for the kids and teachers, I still grew relationships with my kids and got great accolades on my student engagement and teaching abilities. Within this year, I also had an apartment fire that resulted in me losing everything but my life. I saw the obstacles and the fire as God telling me to move on from that place. I attempted to get back to my first school, which I spent three years, but they had no math positions available. I settled with a nearby school system and a few grades lower than I wanted.
That year, I had to adjust to the needy issues of an elementary student. While I did not quite care for this new obstacle, I still went in and worked hard for those kids everyday. My principal at that school was very selective with who she treated with respect. She was best friends with a few of the teachers. Long story short, a majority of the staff felt disrespected by her, but could not do anything about it due to her close relationship with the district superintendent. This was stressful, and I lashed out several times after being talked to like a child. Through all of the drama, though, the principal always said, “you are such a great teacher for the kids, but…” She trusted my instructional skills, but still had personal problems with me. Interesting enough, she called me in her office a few days before he year let out and professed to me that she was for me not against me. I can say that she was a great instructional leader, but did not treat her staff with respect. While I was basically given an in to finally be respected, I could not look past all of the drama throughout the year. I had to leave that environment.
This year, I have gone back to my first school, and everything has come together. I enjoy going to work everyday! My students love coming to my class and have shown that they are learning though our school benchmark data. The administration is always talking about how much ch I have grown and how glad they are to have me back.
I say all of this to say, I am finally in a beautiful place in life. Although, my parents keep saying that I could be so much further if I had listened to them about so many things. The main thing we bump heads on is the fact that I have a good heart. My dad is constantly telling me, you cannot give these people a chance. I understand completely that this is a rough world and you cannot trust everyone, but I am still a good hearted person. I watch myself and still go through some trials, but that’s life!
Should I completely change my approach to life, because my parents don’t believe I have done things right? Or is it ok to know that life will have obstacles and that everything that is not a blessing is a lesson?
I love my parents dearly, but they make me feel like I have failed at life because I have not followed every step that they wanted me to take? I listen to the things they tell me, but sometimes choose what makes sense to me. At times I’ve fallen on my face, but I feel stronger from actually knowing from my own personal experience. It is hard to take some things for face value….
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