Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Making It Day by Day

I have to warn you... there will not be any cute pictures or creative ideas on this post. If you start to get bored reading it, I understand. But I just feel the need to share my story. I hope that this can help someone out... especially anyone who sometimes thinks they are not good enough... because I have SO been there.

I've already blogged about how my grandmother (I called her nanny) told me that I should become a teacher. When she became sick my senior year of high school, I decided that Early Childhood Education would be my major at USC. She passed away a month before I graduated from high school, so becoming a teacher is one of my ways of honoring her.

College was pretty easy for me. I like learning, I love to read, and strangely I like to write papers and study. I received a lot of positive feedback from my mentor teacher during Student Teaching, especially on my classroom management. I was told that it was going to be so easy for me to find a job once I graduated.

Boy were they wrong. It was 2009 and finding a teaching job was harder than surviving the Hunger Games. Interview after interview resulted in "Sorry, we went with a more experienced teacher." Running out of time and choices, I decided to interview for a Preschool position. You can imagine my excitement when I finally heard those two words every graduate wants to hear..... no, not "Marry Me?".... I heard "You're Hired!"

I started working in August of 2009 and I was loving life! My coteacher was awesome, we had a small group of kids, and I was finally getting paid! Sure there were some days when I wondered if I would ever get a "real" job, but I did my best and that's all that mattered. I have the type of personality where I want everyone to like me. I'm a pleaser. It's a downfall at times, but it makes me work hard. One day my boss called me into her office for a meeting. I thought for sure it was going to be to tell me what a good job I was doing. I walked in with a smile on my face, just waiting for the compliments to pour out. Instead she said I simply wasn't good enough. She said "You'll never be a good teacher, until you take every advice I give you." My heart broke. I can't even express how much those words hurt me. All of my life I've wanted to help others and I worked hard for four years to get my dream career. I started to wonder if I had made the right decision in becoming a teacher.

I walked out of the office with my world turned upside down. I had never heard someone be that unkind to another human being. She ended up moving me to another class, but quitting was NOT an option for me. Instead, I worked hard everyday to prove to her that I COULD do it.

The day I'll never forget was when the principal of my current school called to tell me that I had been offered a second grade position. I put in my two weeks notice at my preschool the next day, and surprisingly the director asked me to stay. I told her that I needed to be a place where I would be treated better. (Come to find out, she was fired a month later for treating people unkindly.... go figure!)

I started my "real" teaching days nervous about being successful. But I held my head high and continued to do my best. At the end of my first year, I had a meeting with my principal about my successes/struggles as a first year teacher. Nervous because of how I had been treated in the past, I was thrilled when he complimented me on all of my hard work! The famous quotes was "You're a natural. You go it!"

Since my first year of teaching, my confidence has definitely gotten better. There are still days when I can hear what my first boss told me and I think "what if she's right?" Just a couple of weeks ago, I was announced as a nominee for Teacher of the Year at my school. We're a K-11 school so they picked a teacher from each building and I was the elementary teacher chosen. Hearing this announcement made me feel so much better about what was said to me in the past. Although I didn't win the overall Teacher of the Year, I'm still happy with my accomplishments. There are still sooooo many things I can improve on. I still get behind with grading, forget to send things home, and make typos, but overall I think I'm doing okay. I love my kids and I love my school, so that's all that really matters.


  1. I, for one are glad you kept going. Your grandmother was right. I'm so thankful you are my son's teacher (that goes for my son from another mother too)! Having had a mother who was a teacher, I know it takes a special person to answer the call to educated the next generation. I am glad you persevered. You are an amazing teacher that the kids and parents adore
    YPA is lucky to have you and we are blessed to be counted as one of your families!

  2. You're a natural! You are an awesome teacher and so many parents dream of their kids being in your class.... and are disappointed if they're not. I've only heard fantastic things about you! Keep up the great work!!

  3. I always knew you would be a great teacher! I am so proud of you! :)