Often I’m asked if I miss teaching. I left over year ago now be home with my baby. I still get that question.
I really loved being a teacher. I loved the kids, my co workers,creating lessons, materials, e-mails, and grading papers. There was stress, too. It was a sacrificial, labor of love many a time, but it was amor.
I did have a feeling when I made the decision to stay home and raise my baby that I was abandoning my career. And I did abandon it. Momentarily.
When I quit, I expected to have this longing for my classroom. The chats with the early bird students in homeroom, highlighted and color tabbed rosters, my cup of coffee, post-its, and a neatly organized stack of freshly graded essays to pass back are all joys that only my fellow educators can appreciate.
And I did. And still do. I more miss the memories of my former self. Who I am now would definitely not go back and change course.
I don’t really miss teaching, and not because I don’t want to be in the classroom. The reason is simply: It’s not my part of my vocation right now.
When I was in my 20’s I was constantly spoken to about choosing the right vocation- even to the point of annoyance or discouragement. I wanted to do so many things at once. What no one told me was that though, yes generally you may have one vocation, that it might be the Lord’s will call you for various roles that will all be part of your life’s work. You may have one role, two roles, or 100 roles to fill. It’s what He calls you to do or be in His time and where He places you.
When my career was my vocation, I had been joyful in my career. I made the best with what God gave me. I accepted the work He gave me. Even in the most difficult situations, I learned to be thankful. I was thankful for my students, coworkers, lesson planning, grading, and all of the related opportunities and experiences (Not everyday, of course… But overall yes!).
Toward the end, despite my joy, I became restless. Something felt missing. The missing feeling was pushing me to find my husband, get married, and be open to the gift of my little bean I now take care of everyday.
The point is I don’t miss my career because I am working where I’m suppose to be right now. When you are where you are suppose to be, there is a great peace in it, even if logically speaking it wouldn’t appear to make any sense.
I am a wife and a mother, and though I was a teacher, and still am, I was suppose to put that aside so God could give me something better.
If I had held too tightly, I may have been still teaching and still restless -maybe even at this point with doubt or regret; or worse, I could be miserable taking care of my baby because I’m too worried that I did give up my career. Or I could have hated my career because it took away from time with my baby.
I don’t miss it because it’s not what I’m suppose to be doing right now. I’m suppose to be at home with my baby. And like teaching, it’s a sacrificial love that brings an abundance of joy when I stick things out and persevere- even more so because it is such a larger undertaking to love and serve every need of a human being 24/7.
I truly loved being a teacher. Maybe it will be part of my vocation again. I hope to get the chance to be in front of the desks, dry eraser and coffee in hand again. Right now, I’m doing my best to love the yoga pants and early morning wake up calls. The hours are awful as a mom, but that is the worst of it. And the best? The best is the squealing little one smiling and calling “momma”!