I have known that I wanted to be a teacher since second grade. There was never any doubt or hesitation, so when I began teaching in the fall of 1999, I did so with enthusiasm and confidence. I was a young teacher, only 21 when the school year started, separated from my students by only a few years but ages of life experience.
My teaching voice came naturally, and I was at ease in the classroom. I gradually rose in seniority in my department and began taking on more and more responsibility and leadership roles. After a long school day, I spent my evenings caring for my two small children and keeping up with school work.
As my personal and professional life became busier, I began to feel overwhelmed trying to keep up with it all. The confidence I once felt started to fade, and I was left feeling inadequate at home and school, like I just couldn’t keep it all going. I was burnt out and exhausted. I had depleted all of my energy and enthusiasm and had nothing left to offer my students and my school. After many years of teaching, I resigned from my position and focused on caring for my children.
Although I enjoyed the time I had to spend at home with my young children, I couldn’t help feeling disappointed in myself. I had wanted to be a teacher for so long but hadn’t been able to make it work. Teaching had been such a big part of my life, and I wasn’t sure exactly who I was without it. I began to pray often that God would show me what He wanted for me. I knew that I still a purpose; I just had no idea what it was. In church, at the grocery store, at stop lights, I would speak to Him: “God, what would You have me do? I want to fulfill the plan You have for me. Please help me to see it.”
The funny thing about talking to God is that sometimes His answers surprise you. Last spring I read on Facebook that Concordia was trying to fill an English teaching position, and I immediately felt compelled to apply. I had a sense before I even interviewed that this was finally God’s answer to my question. Although I felt that I had given and used up everything I had to offer in the classroom, God led me right back. He allowed me to rest, and when He knew I was ready, presented me with a new opportunity to serve.
I am so blessed and proud to be a part of the Concordia Lutheran High School family. Although many things have changed in my years away from the classroom, the heart of teaching has remained the same: I enjoy my content; I enjoy my lessons; but more than anything I enjoy my students. They engerize and renew me, and they remind me daily of my purpose. God has asked us to spread His love and good news to those around us, and I have the privilege of doing that here at Concordia.