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I just knew I’d be a movie star. Most everything I did as a child and even into college really, revolved around singing, performing, and making videos. I convinced my parents to purchase one of those over the shoulder video cameras. Then, later in high school I bought one of those in the palm camcorders. It was my own, paid for by me. Yes, I was pretty much on my way to stardom, but then I got a “C-” on a Lincoln video I produced. The video was terrible, and it was really hard to make. I started thinking becoming a star might be a little more difficult than I had anticipated, so I figured I’d just be a teacher (I’m only serious). There is no way I could have realized it then, when I decided to pursue a career in teaching, that I would be able to keep that childhood dream alive.
It was crazy, my passion crept right into my teaching, and I loved it. It was so cool, my students actually seemed to like this weird, wannabe creative teacher, who would sing silly songs and make crazy videos. This freedom really changed the way I felt about teaching. I really started to love it, and I enjoyed seeing the students laugh and smile.
I was sad when I left the classroom. I was touched by a video the students dedicated to the teachers who were leaving Mendez. In the video, none of the students shared anything about what they had learned, but they were saying thanks for making class fun, and they shared that they would miss my singing. I was almost in tears.
But even now that I’m out of the classroom, finding ways to work within my passion continues. Just so you know, I work with Wes Kriesel in the 21st Century Learning department, and sharing about long lost passion with Wes is always a little risky for me because there’s a good chance he’ll challenge me to bring an element of that passion to Team 21C. But honestly, I love and believe in the team, and it’s comforting to know Wes values my passions. Sometimes, I feel like Jessica and I think twice before we speak, but moments later the ideas are always shared; it’s nice to feel that sense of safety on our team. So yes, I’ve shared some of my awkward moments, weird videos, and silly songs.
No, I’m not a movie star, but I enjoyed and treasured tapping into that passion as a teacher. And although I’m not in the classroom anymore, it’s crazy how my passion once again has found its way right into my work with Team 21C. In fact, Wes has challenged me do far more than I’ve ever done. His magic trick, he asks me to do the things I’m passionate about. I’m writing songs, making videos, and producing a live online show. It’s really everything I ever wanted to do.
Wednesday night, I ran into Mrs. B, who was the office manager at my old high school, and she told me that she needed to shake my hand. She said, “I need to shake the hand of someone who made it.” I stood there not really knowing what she was talking about or how to respond. She explained how she watched the Team 21C Show on Facebook. She was serious, she was smiling, and she was proud of me. Yes, I know we do somewhat of a silly show. But I’m silly, and I love it, and I was very encouraged!
And in case this blog post finds you Mrs. B., thanks for wanting to shake my hand. Thanks for watching the show and letting me know you enjoyed it. I’m very confident that you are my number one fan. We all need fans like you! More importantly, I learned that I need to do for others what you did for me. You took the time to shake my hand and to tell me that your were proud of me, so I promise to make someone else feel like a star.