Some of you may not know, that my “day job” as it were, was being a teacher. As long as I could remember I wanted to be a teacher. I loved working with children, particularly the little guys. This is the first year since graduating college that I will not be preparing a classroom. If you don’t mind, indulge me a minute while I wax poetic about my new lot in life, not as a classroom teacher, but as a photographer.
Art and children were two big passions in my life. As much as I would have loved to have been an art teacher, I worried there wouldn’t be enough jobs to go around once I graduated….it was bad enough I would be making pennies as a teacher anyway. :) So I made the next best choice, and majored in early childhood education. I knew I could do plenty of art in these early grades, I mean who doesn’t remember brand new crayons? paste? paints? We used them all in the early grades.
Ha, little did I know that I still had to teach them math, reading, writing….so I worked hard to incorporate art as I taught the basics. I have taught Kindergarten, First Grade, and my last job was teaching a First/Second grade multiage class, which was by far my favorite assignment.
I love my job….love. When you see a child look at you with amazement as they read that reallllllyyyyy long word (yes, bird is long to them!) you can’t help but feel blessed to do what you do. What made my job even better was the ability to do photography part time on the weekends….another creative outlet for me.
I never intended to stop teaching, even for one year. When I had my daughter I briefly contemplated being a stay at home mom, but bills kind of trumped that decision, so I kept on working. Now, with a move to Savannah, GA via a promotion for my husband, my time has come. I can stay home with my daughter. I can officially say, I am a photographer.
What do you do for a living?
I am a photographer.
As I start packing up my teaching stuff to put into storage, I can’t help but feel somewhat bittersweet at the moment. I won’t get to meet a new group of first graders who either look at me with fear of the unknown, or look at me in amazement that THIS is the person who will teach me to read. I won’t get to see my second graders run up and give me a big hug after not seeing me all summer. Never did I think tears would ever fall because of this decision.
Yet, they are not just tears of sadness for what I will miss. They are tears of happiness for what is to come. I will be spending more time watching my daughter grow up. I will meet new families, the families who I will be blessed to photograph. I may not be teaching them some important skill such as reading or addition. But I will be capturing memories that they will be able to look on for years to come. I will meet new families who will be thankful that they have even one portrait of their son with a semi-smile on his face. I will be giving them the gift of memories….and for that, I am truly blessed.