Out of my Comfort Zone

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At 4:30 am, the theme to “Star Wars” blares from my iPhone as I groggily open my tired eyes. SNOOZE – I love that button. Of course, a few seconds after I hit snooze I realize that my day must begin. What happens in the next hour and a half is like a typhoon as I scurry around making my kids’ lunches, making sure their backpacks are packed, empty the dehumidifiers – DAILY (yes, I live in one of the most humid island places), remember to turn the dryer on, empty the dishwasher, and make breakfast. Somewhere in that timeframe, I manage to take a shower and get ready for work.  Nope, I don’t lay my clothes out ahead a time for the week, because I am a “let’s pull out what’s not wrinkled” kind-of-gal.

Yes, I am a working mother of three beautiful children.  Children who I love with all my heart, mind, and soul, but as you know being a Mom is one of the hardest jobs in the world.  My fellow working moms – you also experience this whirlwind every morning.  Oh, did I also mention that I am also a teacher?  Yep, I am with children 24 hrs. a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year.  School holidays and vacations are not really a vacation for me.  Guess what, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  There’s NOTHING more rewarding than being a mom and a teacher of children.  It’s a calling, and you can’t ignore God’s calling.

I have always wanted to be a teacher. Even when I was young, I would play school with the other children in my neighborhood. Of course, I would only participate in the role of the educator. There was something powerful about being a teacher. As a young child, I couldn’t explain that power in words. However, I felt it when I watched my elementary teachers in front of the chalkboard. They seemed to have power over the class. Those teachers could take us to other places through our imaginations. They could also turn on the light in our minds and make us say, “Oh, I get it!” One word of encouragement or praise could make us feel like we were on top of the world. Teaching seemed like such a glamorous job. Teachers seemed part-human and part-magical.

Well, as you know the world has changed, and it is almost magical.  Have you ever read the book, “The World is Flat,” by Thomas L. Friedman?  Due to technology, there are no more boundaries between countries, classrooms, families, etc.  As mothers and educators, we can look to our computer to share pictures of our adorable children (no matter how embarrassing to our kids); search for healthy, organic recipes; collaborate on lesson plans; find cute bday party ideas; and read endless blogs about people who share in our own experiences.  We can connect on a whole new level, and for many of us, it is out of our comfort zone to be so apparent and open with people we don’t know.  However, I believe the reasons why blogs are so popular is because there are so many of us that are really “closet teachers and learners.”  “Closet teachers” are those who have so much to share and offer, but they are afraid to speak in front of large audiences in person.  They might fear that public humiliation that happens face-to-face, but behind a computer, it’s much easier to type those words and not fear retaliation.  “Closet learners” are those who are scared to ask for help and admit they need help in being a mom, teacher, writer, etc.  Blogs are the perfect answer for these people who seek advice in a comfortable environment.

So, I admit that I am a closet learner.  I am one of those moms who wants to feed much healthier meals for my kids, organize her house much better, and do those creative Pinterest projects.  I am NOT creative, and I need help.  On the professional end, I am a closet teacher.  My desire is to present my ideas and collaborate with other educators, but I am afraid.  I fear those critics, and people who believe I think I know it all.  BUT that is further from the truth.  If you only knew the doubts that sometimes pervade my mind about whether or not teaching is really my calling.  There are so many times I want to have an office job in a cubicle with no human contact.  Seriously, I wanted to be Ralph Waldo Emerson.

However, after surrounding myself with positive mothers and educators who inspire me, I realize that I must “step out of my comfort zone.”  I can’t be an island and pretend to be this “perfect mom and teacher,” because I am NOT.  The title of my blog, “TheGuruSensei,” is actually a joke that stuck from my college days – thanks, Beth Puckett.  Everything is trial and error.  Life is really about the process.  So, I choose to share that process with you…to let you know I am not perfect.  I may be OCD and anal-retentive, but I make mistakes – it is ok.  So, may my ideas or “ramblings of a teacher” help you in your journey as a working mom, educator, closet teacher or learner, or whatever.  Please be kind, please be patient, and please enjoy!

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