Teaching is something that feels natural and right for me. It is something I do easily…something that fills me with purpose and light.
I remember it all began way back in grade 11. I was at an all girls’ school and we were seated in the hall when a teacher walked in with a realm of papers. We were asked to indicate who would like to receive an application form to study at a teacher’s training college.
At that moment my hand shot up, and I moved forward, without any hesitation. Me…. the unassuming quiet, shy girl. Me, the girl who would rather die hiding behind someone than be noticed in class….
As I received my form, I had no idea how teaching would take on various faces through the next 30 years. I was one of those children who was never confused about the kind of work I wanted to do one day.
At this point I have to share that as much as I worked hard not to be noticed, there was also a part of me that felt incredibly sad year after year as I watched other`s names being called to receive recognition based on performance. Year after year I waited………………….. … year after year………….and finally decided that there was nothing of worth I had to offer anyone.
Today 30 years later, I know that despite whatever is on the outside of myself, there is something inside of me that is the truth.
So many things have clouded who I have believed myself to be.
During the years that I raised my sons at home, I changed the little wooden house in our garden to a teaching classroom for young children. I was going to teach gardening workshops. I had pictures of birds and vegetables pasted up on the wall. There were clay pots ready to be painted, art supplies at hand, worksheets I prepared, a yellow plastic table and colourful kiddie chairs that would be placed in the garden under the tree for them to pot up seedlings and seeds. Here are my boys practicing some of the activities I was going to do with other children. We also created our own meals for birds – recipes that I would have shown the children how to create in order to attract birds into their own gardens.
I also had long wooden tables erected on the inside so that on windy rainy days, they could work inside. Here you can see part of the pictures, books and activities I had on display.
This was the pathway I created leading to the entrance of the ‘classroom’.
I would sit in this haven of creativity and dream how my ‘pupils’ would arrive to come and learn through colour, creativity and play.
Do you know that I sat and sat and dreamt and dreamt and ………….never got to experience that dream…
That was when my older son was grade 1. He is now about to begin grade 11. Seriously… what was going on with me…..
I have never stopped feeling the sadness of that dream left unlived. Never forgotten the voice of that dream being ignored and left to die.
Never forgotten how stifled and shut down my own voice was – so much so that it never had the courage to give life to this passion.
A few years after that, a call to photograph connection started growing within my heart… and I never fully heard that whisper till recently.
So much of my life at present would have been different right now….if I had started nurturing my own voice back then.
Today my classroom feels like a different dream….still one of teaching though.
I know that my painting, my writing, my photography feels like soul work, like heart centred teaching. I am my happiest when I am immersed in this. The school chalk board has been replaced by my paintings and blog . The school text book has been replaced by my own personal challenges and life transition.
I am writing these words because my dream is that I honour my truth… my creativity. That I fulfill my call for this soul work of heart centred teaching in its purest sense and never look back with sadness ever again upon a dream left unheard.
Sending you light around any calling you have within right now.