Today I go back to my roots: teaching. I can remember the spot in Green Mountain High School where I knew in an instant I would be a teacher. This was a big old shock to me because I wanted to be anything BUT a teacher. Why? Nothing more than the not-so-original-but-oh-so-true-reason: my mom was a teacher and both grandmothers had been teachers. I, however, was not going to do anything so pedestrian and simple. Oh the arrogance of youth.

But when you have been tapped on the shoulder by One who knows more and your entire mindset shifts instantly, it’s inconceivable not to do and be that which you thought you never would.

And so I went to the wonderful land of KU (Go Jayhawks) and as a Middle and Secondary Education Major focused on Social Studies and Math. Followed by an MA in teaching — this time in Teaching English as a Second Language. I know, math, English, history, politics, geography, apparently I can’t focus and find the WHOLE WIDE WORLD interesting.

Many moons and classrooms later I have taught far more subejcts, levels, types of classes, and students than I ever imagined when I was tapped on the shoulder and envisioned myself as “a teacher.”

Today I’m guest posting at The Teachers’ Lounge about my experience a few weeks ago with “money” and “happiness.” Please check out  Integration Teaching {Bringing Happiness to Venn Diagrams} –and let them know I sent you!

What are your roots? Let’s see how far, wide, and interesting we are! Do share.

Leave A Comment

  1. chubarue May 5, 2012 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    Amy! Your Integration Teaching post was fascinating and inspiring! Thank you for sharing, for your honesty, humility, and the challenge to think more openly about what TRUE integration looks like.

    • Amy May 5, 2012 at 9:49 pm - Reply

      That class HAS really challenged me to think about teaching differently — so thankful that lessons can come in all shapes, sizes and even in equations :)! Thanks for the kind words!

  2. Well, funny thing. You and I go WAY back and interestingly have many of the same roots. :)

    Green Mountain High School. Check.
    Masters Degree in TEFL/TESL. Check.
    Teaching in China. Check.

    I didn’t know I wanted to be a teacher so much until after I was a teacher in China, 1990-1991 (and I got my MA after that…). After teaching there, I knew I wanted to be one. The funny thing about that, though, is how I have frequently gotten heavily burned out by the profession, too. Every few years I get out of it, but then every few years find I am back in it. I kind of do find, though, that it is “all one thing” in that once you are a teacher you are kind of *always* a teacher. ;-)

    I’m going to go read the post now!

    • Amy May 7, 2012 at 5:21 am - Reply

      I know what you mean about getting burnt out. I cannot imagine beging the kind of teacher who started in one classroom and stayed there their entire career. Part-time teaching is good for me now!

  3. Oooh oooh! Read it! How cool is that post?!? I LOVED this part: 1. My definition of “Chinese Creativity” is far too narrow. Over the years I’ve been asking them to be creative in ways I know how to be creative without linking it more often into some of their strengths. The photos were priceless. (And deeply made me wish I could return to my roots of teaching in China, something I adored. *Miss it.*)

    And I think it is always true that if we are good teachers, we ALWAYS learn more than our students from day to day, lol. :D

    • P.S. That is some REALLY red chalk on those chalkboards! WOW! Red chalk like that! How Chinese, and how cool.

      • Amy May 7, 2012 at 5:32 am - Reply

        I love/hate that red chalk! Hard to erase and see from the back — but also so Chinese :)

    • Amy May 7, 2012 at 5:30 am - Reply

      These kids have been good for me too! So much has changed from when we first came to China, but that is why I need to keep changing too!

  4. Beth May 7, 2012 at 4:43 am - Reply

    I think it’s so intriguing that we seem to almost always be drawn to the passions of those in our families who’ve gone before us. Thanks for sharing a bit about your journey, Amy!

    • Amy May 7, 2012 at 5:34 am - Reply

      Beth, thanks for stopping by! As I look at my nieces, I wonder who will be next in the teacher line … I’m just sure it will continue on! Amy

  5. Lynn May 8, 2012 at 1:04 am - Reply

    Amy is the Green Mtn H.S. you talked about located in Lakewood, CO? I didn’t attend there, but my parents moved to the area when I was in college. So, I know it well. Integrated teaching sounds like what I do with EFL and Bible lessons. I’m new to the EFL teaching, but have been enjoying it. Their math though is beyond me! I think I’ll stick with animal brands, herding, farming and Bible quotes for now. :)

    • Amy May 8, 2012 at 5:15 am - Reply

      Small world! It is :). Love it that we each have a niche to fill — I like animals, but not enough to have one in my home or daily life :)

      • Lynn May 8, 2012 at 2:09 pm - Reply

        What a wonderful connection! God is good in giving and helping us use our gifts to bring him glory. Keep on being His golden meat hook and I will too. :)

  6. allisonlh May 13, 2012 at 7:31 am - Reply

    I have a similar story (sans China): My mom taught kindergarten for most of her career, so of course I swore I would never become a teacher. I’m now five years into my teaching career, and when people ask why I decided to become a teacher, I reply, “Because God has a sense of humor.” Loving your blog! Thanks for your honesty and inspiration.

    • Amy May 13, 2012 at 9:12 pm - Reply

      He does love a good laugh! I love that about him :) Amy

  7. allisonlh May 13, 2012 at 7:33 am - Reply

    I have a similar story (sans China): My mother taught kindergarten for most of her career, so of course I swore I would never go into teaching. I’m now five years into my teaching career, and when people ask me why I became a teacher, I reply, “Because God has a sense of humor.” Love your blog! Thanks for your honesty and inspiration!

    • Amy May 13, 2012 at 8:51 pm - Reply

      Oh He does, doesn’t He :)! Amy

  8. Michelle May 28, 2012 at 6:47 am - Reply

    Me too!!! My mom is a teacher and I swore I’d never be a teacher. Here I am seventeen years into my career and I love it more now than when I began. Your blog is such a breath of fresh air. I first found you with the post about Mother’s Day. A friend shared it with me as I am not a mother (yet). I am in the process of adopting an older child. Thank you for speaking for everyone that’s different and deserving of recognition as well. Keep writing! I am a fan!

    • Amy May 28, 2012 at 9:10 am - Reply

      Michelle, welcome! It’s great to have you in our community and I look forward to getting to know you a bit. Amy

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