She was my humanities teacher my senior year of high school. Hands down my favorite class--ever. I would take it right now if given the chance. In fact, I still have my binder from the class and used different ideas from it when I taught middle school history for nine years. She made me realize that I wanted to be a teacher. Sometimes class was dynamic and creative, and sometimes it was a just a "normal" day and we had to take notes or have a discussion on writers from the Enlightenment. Regardless, the enthusiasm she infused into whatever she was doing made you want to be right there…in her class….doing whatever she asked you to do….because she made learning…..magical. And I know, that sounds so cliche and so 'dangerous minds-esque' (minus Michelle Pfieffer and gangs) but it's true, and I know that, because to this day I can recall in more detail things about her class and what I learned there than almost any other class I've ever taken.
She helped me be who I am today, career wise, and I'm so thankful for that inspiration.
As I face the dreaded school decision for Georgia I find myself constantly second-guessing what I should do, where she should go, why I even have to send her to school, why we can't find a yurt somewhere where I can keep her all to myself, and other rational ideas in that same vein. We have a phenomenal, just amazing, school down our street that she'll probably go to. We have another great school choice where she's gone to pre-school for the last two years. I feel torn. However, when I really think about it honestly, what I'm truly torn about is school in general. Having her be somewhere else for the first time more than she's with me is hard. Really, truly hard for me. Just like it is for most moms….at least us first-timers. I didn't think it'd be that way for me. I've spent more time in a school over the last fourteen years myself than anywhere else…..mostly loving every minute of it (even the hard minutes). I thought it'd be more exciting for me versus kick-in-the-gut-can't-breathe. But alas, it's the latter.
I spend a good deal of time at work in teacher's classrooms observing them. And I love being there because the teachers I work with are simply incredible. I miss having my own classroom every day and when I'm in theirs I can easily take myself back to the days when the classroom was mine. I loved having that little microcosm of the school to foster and cultivate and grow. So now, when I'm in other teacher's rooms I thoroughly enjoy seeing kids learning from them, laughing with them, looking up to them, and just being happy to be right there with them. Some of their students will remember them forever. As a teacher, you never know when you're going to be someone's Ms. Carroll.
As I was doing some observations yesterday I had an epiphany. These amazing teachers that I work with, the amazing teachers I had growing up like Ms. Carroll, the inspiration that is in store for students within the walls of a school……..Georgia is right there……about to cross the threshold into a land where she might meet 'that' educator who will excite her about math or art or music or a foreign language or social work or occupational therapy, or, or, or…….She's going to have that opportunity so soon and that is a good, good thing. Something that makes my sad-don't-grow-up-so-fast mama heart feel a little better.
She's getting closer to meeting her Ms. Carroll….and that makes me happy for her.
Are there things about school that are hard and tough life lessons? Of course. There is to every facet of life. But right now…..I'm choosing to think about those amazing teachers….the ones I've had, the ones I know, the ones I work with, and the ones that are waiting to meet my incredible five year old. If the idea of school starting for your baby is feeling a bit suffocating take a minute to remember your Ms. Carroll--it might be just what you need.
First day of pre-school back in 2012. The real deal….coming soon….and we'll be excited!