Sunday, March 29, 2015

En los momentos en que no soy profesora, ¿quién soy?

I have a question for you.  At those times when you are not a Spanish teacher (or whatever your profession may be), what are you?

Don't get me wrong, please.  I am not complaining.  I know that, despite its challenges, teaching is a beautiful profession.  Teaching allows me to satisfy my intellect, connect with other people, pursue scholarly interests, use my creativity, and do something that makes a difference.  There are few, if any, professions that can offer that.

Still, there are times when I get utterly lost in all the demands of my job.  These are the times when I am so involved in teaching, and all the side jobs that accompany it, that I lose sight of who I am.  Do you know the feeling?  You get up early and go to school; you immediately get to work; you give it your best all day long; you bring home projects to grade; and you spend your time after dinner planning, writing rubrics, answering parent emails, and attending the basketball game . . . . and on it goes.  I start to feel like a machine that simply churns out grades, signed passes, and lesson plans.

So, I'm back to my question: when I am not a Spanish teacher, what am I?

In addition to being a mother and a wife, I am a member of a church, a blogger, a dabbling graphic artist, and a maker of things.  By that last part, I mean that I get great joy from creating - knitting, crochet, painting, jewelry making, and that sort of thing.  My latest interest is polymer clay.  I'm just beginning with it, but I can see an immense potential for creative expression there.

Today I made a necklace that included a small polymer clay sculpture of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  The necklace itself is inspired by Santeria, which is a religion that mingles elements of voodoo with Catholicism. 

I let my imagination and creativity lead the way and I think the result was quite nice.  It certainly makes a statement - a strong one.  This will be on display today at a local craft fair where I hope it will draw some attention and some comments.  And it's nice to answer questions about design, technique, and artistic self-expression.  (More fun to talk about than preterite vs. imperfect!)

So, though this blog is (sadly) not a hotbed of conversation, I invite you to leave a comment below to express who you are at those moments when you are not a teacher.  What is it that makes you uniquely you?

Hasta pronto,



jennifer said...

When I am not teaching - who am I? First of all, I am a wife - a role that I relish. My husband has a career that has some similarities to mine - but overall, it's very different from teaching, and I very much enjoy learning about his field. He has recently taken a teaching role in his field, and that's added much to our relationship as he has learned about the joys and trials of educating people. We also do many things with our church - I sing and teach teenagers in Sunday School. So being a teacher is not easily let go of. I find outlets in baking and reading - things I absolutely love to do.

Those are a few of the things that make me who I am. Again, I very much enjoy reading your blog and the ideas you bring. Have a great week!

Anne Karakash said...

Hi Jennifer. Being a wife to a person you love, is certainly a wonderful thing. You piqued my curiosity as to your husband's career - similar to teaching but different. Maybe he's a social worker or a human resources manager? You don't have to tell me if you don't want to, of course, but I am a very curious person and I love riddles. :-)

I know exactly mean when you say that being a teacher is not easily let go of. I find myself in the role of teacher wherever I am. It's just that if I know how to do something and somebody else doesn't, it's almost impossible to resist the urge to jump in there and help them out.

I admire people, like you and like my mother, who are good bakers. I can cook but I'm a wreck when it comes to baking most of the time. I'm a little too fast and loose with the rules, I guess. And baking is a precise science.

It's good to know that you find time to pursue things that are interesting and important to you. We all have to refuel and refresh from time to time.

jennifer said...

Well, my husband's career is similar in that he is constantly dealing with the changing needs of people and the changes in policy and procedure in what he does - he manages an auto collision repair shop. Not what you guessed - but human resources is certainly part of the job. :-) As I stated before, he has also taken on a teaching role - as he educates others on how to best repair a car to maximum safety for the consumer, so he has a better understanding of the business we call education. It's been interesting and fun to watch him learn things about teaching that I have known for my 13 years in the classroom...

As for the baking, I think I love it because it is so precise. Sometimes I wish I was a little more fast and loose with the rules...but I'm not. I am a more step-by-step, spell it out for me, type.

You are right. It's hard, but we do have to refresh and refuel. Ultimately, I believe that having outside interests and hobbies makes us more interesting people. :-)

michelle metcalfe said...

Hola Anna,

I have not posted comments for a long time, but I wanted to let you know that I am still a faithful follower of your blog and am always excited to see new posts. I especially enjoyed this one on Who you are when you are not teaching. I have always admired your artistic talents and creativity, and really loved to learn about your jewelry-making. The necklace you posted is stunning - I love the way you have incorporated the spiritual and religious elements so important in the Spanish-speaking world to create such a beautiful work of art! Thank you again for all your inspiration!
Michelle xo

Anne Karakash said...

Hola Michelle, It's always great to hear from you! I hope your school year is going well. I thank you so much for your kind words. This was a fun project to do and I'm delighted that it turned out so well. You didn't mention what it is that you to keep yourself happy. Are you creative and crafty? Do you play online games? Read mysteries? These are just blind guesses, but I think everyone needs something outside of work that nourishes their spirit. How often do we encourage our students to pursue their dreams with passion? We should follow our own advice. :-) --AnneK <3

Laurie F. said...

Thank you for your wonderful resources and writing - I just discovered you via pinterest! I understand how our profession can take over our lives but we do need that balance to stay happy. I am also a mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt and friend, all roles I love. To satisfy another side of me I bake, read and run - I like to share all of those with my students too. It is good for them to know that I have a life outside school!

Anne Karakash said...

Laurie, It's great to hear from you and welcome aboard! Don't you just love Pinterest? I've found so many useful things there and I've met some great folks too. I think it's awesome that you share a little glimpse of your outside life with your students. Back when I was a beginning teacher, we were cautioned against that sort of thing. But I agree with you that it's important to see that we have lives outside of school - it sets a good example for them and it can encourage good habits like reading and running. ~hugs~ --AnneK

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