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Lesson 4: Be Confident in Your Life Path!

Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I decorated my basement to be a classroom to my dolls and stuffed animals. I made copies of worksheets and actually completed them for each student. I printed off so much stuff on my home printer that my dad was always making runs to Office Depot to buy new ink cartridges. I asked my teachers for old workbooks or textbooks and those were the materials I used. My cousin taught me how to use the sliding grader at a very young age so I could make report cards for my students. All in all, I loved school!

For a short amount of time I would tell people that I wanted to be a doctor because it sounded good, but ultimately, I decided on following my heart and becoming a teacher. Every job I’ve ever had involved children. At Northwestern I studied Social Policy with an Education focus. I finally was going to live out my dream when I enrolled in the Urban Accelerated Certificate and Master’s program at Georgia State. I remember being so tired but being so happy at the same time when I was a student teacher. Sitting in my first classroom, as a first-year teacher grading papers, I had the thought “Wow God I am actually living out my dream!”

Anyone who knows me knows I love my job. Anyone who doesn’t know me but asks me what I do for a living will soon know that I love my job. That’s how much I love it! Even though I am so happy with where I am, I get SOOOOO much push back about “just being a teacher!” Let me first state that there is nothing “easy” about being a teacher. For most people I would actually convince them NOT to do the job because it requires a very unique skillset, and if you aren’t passionate about it, it shows, and you are doing yourself and the children you serve a disservice.

But I have been told multiple times that I am too smart to be a teacher. I have been asked even more times “When do you plan to leave the classroom?”. I have been asked “Don’t you have bigger dreams?” Or I have been flat out told “Your dreams are too small.” I would like to say that I meet all of these comments and questions with an assuredness that I know exactly what I am doing, but that’s far from the truth. Some of these questions have led me to even question myself. Am I dreaming too small? Is this really what I want? Should I go and try to make more money elsewhere?

Even though the doubt can creep in, I do always return back to the fact that this is my passion! There are very few other people that I have met that love their job as much as I love mine. I know people who love their job for the money, but for the actual work they do, nah.

I have thoughts about the brain drain in education and how people leave the classroom for leadership positions way too early, but I will save that for another blog post. What I will say for now regarding my career trajectory is that I have always known I have wanted to be in the classroom for at least 5 years. I like working with students. As soon as you exit the classroom it is a given that you will work directly with kids less and less. That is not what I am trying to do at the moment. Later in life maybe, but right now I am right where I am supposed to be.

I would also like to add that in our society we have ranked jobs by the amount of money you are going to make. Now I would just like to add my two cents. Don’t let anyone tell you the path you are choosing is the wrong path because it does not live up to societal standards. The truth is that God will use you in some capacity whatever your job is. As a teacher I am very intimately involved in the lives of children of course, but I also interact with families in a large manner. I am also on assignment with my coworkers. There is a verse that says, “Let everyone be devoted to fulfill the work God has given them to do with excellence, and their joy will be in doing what’s right and being themselves, and not in being affirmed by others.” (Galatians 6:4- TPT) It touched me because it was a reminder to all things with excellence and to do things with an Audience of One (God) in mind. I am also reminded of a post by a friend of mine years ago. She is a licensed hair stylist and esthetician. Of course, many people use these services. Most of us go to other people for these services because we can’t do them ourselves. Well in this particular video she had a client that was so overjoyed at the services she received because she was struggling from an illness and had not felt beautiful in years. Thanks to my friend, walking in her calling, she was able to do something for this lady that for most would have just been brushed over. When you do the job that God has called you to do, you do it differently. You are excited to be there. Your attitude is positive. You interact differently with people. It’s not just a paycheck. This can apply to you no matter the career or title.

Only you know exactly what God has called you to do, and even if you don’t know it yet, you will. Keep seeking the Lord and getting to know yourself. My hope is that we will treat our work, relationships, and lives in a way that is in complete fulfillment of the calling God has placed on our lives. I pray that we will do everything in excellence knowing that it all works together to give glory to the Lord. When you are walking in your calling and doing it with excellence, there will be opportunities to change the world and peoples’ lives will be touched. Don’t let anyone deter you from this!

Love y’all!


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