If I had a dollar for every time I've heard one of those statements, then I would have probably earned more than my teaching salary in a year. Don't get me wrong! The people who have said that to me truly meant it as a compliment. I really do not take any offense when they say it. However, I LOVE what I do and being in the classroom is where I would like to be.
Sometimes in the past those thoughts did play in my head. Shouldn't I want to to be in leadership? With any job, isn't part of success about promotion? How long would I want to be just a teacher?
Well, I'm not "just a teacher". I'm a role model, inspirer, mind awakener, encourager, and so much more EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I put in work and personally see the fruits of my labor through my students. Yes, in some ways success can be tied to new positions. More importantly, success is tied to true happiness. The real success is doing what you love. The real success is making an impact. The real success is tied to loving what you do and being proud of your contributions to the world. As an adult, the majority of our day is spent working. So, loving what you do is very important.
Most days I'm tired. However...
Everyday, I get shown tremendous love.
Everyday, I laugh hysterically.
Everyday, I'm fulfilled.
That is my definition of success. Everyday in the classroom, I experience many successes as a result of my students' successes. Many of the positions I think about outside of the classroom wouldn't be my personal version of success FOR ME at the moment. Maybe in the future, but definitely not right now. Over these last couple of months, several educators have reached out to me to interview for leadership positions they have available at their schools, districts, or organizations. Although, their considerations have been EXTREMELY appreciated; I've been proud of myself for not taking advantage of the wonderful opportunities. I'm happy that I've stayed true to my belief that I have so much more to do as a classroom teacher, and that through my direct experience, I will become an even better educator.
Life is about what makes each of us happy. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a classroom teacher who currently wants to leave the classroom. There is nothing wrong with being a classroom teacher who currently wants to stay in the classroom. However, there is something wrong with determining success by anything that doesn't make us happy.
Soooo, I say all that to say this...
I "move up" daily, when my students become better at something academically or personally.
I am a good teacher, so I plan to stay one for a while.
My talents are exactly where they belong.
A PROUD CLASSROOM TEACHER