Juliann wrote a Slice of Life Story today that included the following paragraph:
This job of teaching is a tricky one. It is one that doesn’t stay behind when you close the classroom door. It follows you home, it taps on your shoulder every time you walk into a book or craft store. Wouldn’t that be fun for school, it whispers in your ear. It nudges you awake wondering what would hook the interest of that child who seems to be drifting. It pops up in your email with questions and concerns from parents. It resists being turned off.
I immediately connected to this part of her story since I, too, find my job as a teacher following me into all of the nooks and crannies of my life (especially at the craft store – ha ha). I believe this is okay, BUT we must strive to seek some kind of balance between our work and personal lives.
Jen Barney’s blog’s tagline is “I love what I do – It isn’t a job, it is my life.” I’ve loved this phrase for a long time. It reminds me that I’m not the only person who walks through life as a teacher. It’s too hard to separate what I do for a living from who I am as a person. Therefore, I’ve stopped trying. In fact, I don’t get offended when someone in a store says, “Yeah, you look like a teacher.” In fact, I now take that as a compliment.
So what? (That’s what Ruth would probably be asking herself right now if she were writing this piece. Therefore, I’ll take a cue from her and will answer the “So what?” of this post.) I’ve come to believe that it’s okay to be thinking about what’s good for kids and how to teach them more effectively, wherever we are. I think that is what makes us better educators.
I am a literacy consultant who has spent over a decade working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grade K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.
I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).