I guess this is one of those life experiences that can't be predicted or prepared for. No matter how well you read up or plan or anticipate, sometimes crazy stuff just happens.
Here I am, in pursuit of this idea that I have about cultivating creativity and learning through dance and the other activities I enjoy. I've been looking for opportunities to increase my financial stability as well and have been taking up different types of jobs.
I teach dance (group classes and privates), I teach and assist with arts and crafts for children and I work to manage the operations of a business that provides training in the HR field.
My niece stated at a new Middle School and participated in a volleyball camp which I decided to volunteer for. Just like old times. Its been almost 3 years since I touched volleyball so I thought, why not? This in turn led me to a coaching position for the Girl's High School JV-C team which then let me to a long term teaching position to teach Math in the 7th grade.
What crazy? So many things!
Burning both ends of the candle: School starts at 8:00am and I dance till about 1am. Oh buy! I've had to cut back and I'm still testing my limits so we'll see how that goes.
7th graders (12-13 year olds): Ah! God bless all Middle School teachers. What an interesting age and one that I have the hardest time relating to. The great thing is that the school is small enough so I'm getting to know my students - all 52 of them - little by little. Some of them are so adorable and some, well, let's just say that they could use a good spanking.
Grading, Planning, etc: A teacher doesn't just teach, there's grading, planning, advising and so many other things. I'm remembering how balancing all of that with my own other interests can be a challenge.
Free time? I got used to making my own day and just lazing about when I can. Now, there are more deadlines and commitments to keep up. Its not a bad thing, just something to get used to again.
What's the trade off?
Stability for the time being. Money has never been one of the top things that drive me. Don't get me wrong, I know that it's necessary and that I need to live within my means. I too have dreams of not needing to pinch pennies and all that. I do think that the pursuit of dreams requires some strong introspection about the kind of life you want to lead along the way to achieving that dream. I now have a job that pays a regular salary and benefits which helps - a LOT!
Teaching despite all its challenges for me personally provides a sense of giving back to and contributing to someone else's life in a positive way that is quite unique and gratifying. Math is subject that has its own set of negative stereotypes to overcome and what I think the kids I work with are in need of is this need to validate "am I right?". I do my best to teach them that with Math, you can at least check your work and thus gain the confidence in yourself and your learning. Its just taking those first few uncertain and scary steps to build that skill and confidence. I love it when I can give a kid a high five for acing a math problem they previously thought they couldn't do.
I'm still Dancing! and so the compromise is still workable. We'll see how that goes.
I still get to do all the trips that I planned before I started to teach. It was part of the agreement with the school which is not an easy thing to do because if you teach, you know that being absent during the school year is a big deal. So, I'm here in Manila with my family for the next month, relaxing and recharging a bit while I investigate some possibilities that could lead to more exciting things.
Changes are still on the horizon and my long term plans are far from set. This is certainly not quite what I envisioned for myself 20 years ago or even in high school when guidance counselors, teachers and parents asked me to look ahead.
One thing is for sure, I am a bit crazy to live with all this uncertainty but for now, its working.
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