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Jessica L. Moody

Questioning the Norm

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education

Narrowing My Focus

As I have mentioned many times, I have gone through this process over the past year of realizing that I am capable of doing and achieving so much more than I am right now.  I feel like I am Indiana Jones right before he takes the first step across the Leap of Faith. I don’t know what is going to be there when I take that step, but I trust that it is what I must do.

leap-of-faith

I have all the abilities (mostly because I have convinced myself of it, and I have proven it to myself), but I just need to take that first step and do what I haven’t done in the past: follow through.

So now I have realized the value that I can bring to the world. Now I realize that I have so many more skills than I even know what to do with and that could fit into one job category.  Here I go to list them:

I am a helper, a teacher, a coach, an encourager, a writer, and an editor. 

My passion is writing curriculum. I love breaking down large pieces of complicated information into easy to follow steps that anyone can follow: from the people who think they can’t to the people who already think they know how.  I love creating activities and lessons that teach these concepts in a fun and creative way.  I can create the whole picture and the small activities. 

I also love teaching it.  I realize after each time that I get in front of any class, “Hey, I’m really good at this!”  I know how to manage a class, be clear with my expectations and move the point along.  I don’t like to always admit it, but I have become a decent public speaker.  Public speaking is my most challenging piece, not because I am bad at it, but my mind and insecurities have a hard time admitting that I have become pretty good.

I can coach and support people to get better at anything academic in nature: reading, speaking, or writing.  I can quickly see their qualities, what skills they are lacking, and steps that I and they can take to make them better.  I am positive and can present feedback in a palatable way. 

I can learn and teach myself anything as I have done in the past few months.  I had no idea how to do much graphic design, business, or website anything.  Now for most of these things I used tutorials and helpful websites, like venngage and canva, but if you don’t know much about this type of technology it can be a daunting task.  I have also taken quite a few online classes in the past year, so I am comfortable with navigating blackboard, canvas, and schoology as Learning Management Systems.  I have realized quickly that this online teaching platform is growing so quickly that there is going to be a huge disparity between teachers who can and teachers who can’t.  I also have experience doing video teachings through youtube and screencast-o-matic.   Basically, I have everything I need to be an effective online teacher. 

As far as my education goes, I am a Literature and Writing Major, I have a vast knowledge of American History, and I’m currently in a Master’s program to teach English as a second language to adults.  But my experience as an educator has given me the ability to teach basic math, science, or any other subject that I have time to do research on.  My experience in curriculum development has given me the skills to be able to break down new information so that I can teach it.  And currently, in my Master’s program, I am slowly but surely learning how to write for an educated audience.

Finally, my faith is a huge part of my life.  Anything that I do, I want it to be fulfilling the purpose that God has for my life.  I am not only an overconfident, leaning toward egotistical, Veteran Marine, I am also a child of God, and I know that He has a calling on my life.  

I started this wondering how I was going to narrow down my platform, but I think I did it.  You are probably seeing the same thing as I am.  I am a teacher, coach, writer, and curriculum developer.  My platform is teaching skills in becoming a better reading, writing, and speaking.

Now the question is, what do I do with this?

 

 

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Making a Change

If you do this 10 minutes every day, you will change!!

I have changed my life this year.  It is simple and only takes about 10 minutes per day (or more if I have a longer drive or workout).  It has become my extrinsic motivator.  It has filled me with confidence and has inspired me to write more.  It has made me move out of my comfort zone into a world that is scary and unknown.  This change looks like the 10 minutes per day it takes to listen to The Quote of the Day podcast from Sean Croxton.  Everyday I listen to this podcast, and I have become hungry for more so have added audio books on Audible like The Five Second Rule, 48 Days to the Work You Love, 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management or How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

This one change of listening to The Quote of the Day Show has spurred a change in my thinking and actions.  I have stopped thinking that success was just for those people.  I have stopped thinking that I can’t change.  I have stopped thinking that since I am a type B, laid back personality that I can’t be an entrepreneur.

I have however, realized that an entrepreneur does not have to be the go-getter, boss, who is in charge of or inspires hundreds of people immediately.  I have realized that it is a conscious effort to change one thing at a time and utilize my time wisely to complete tasks efficiently.  I have gained a new desire to not waste any more time.  I don’t want to waste my life.  I don’t want to waste one more second passing time waiting for the weekend, desiring the next season, or doing anything but living in the moment.

I have been that person that has said, “I’m just never going to be skinny. I’m just not made that way.” Or “I am too laid back to run my own business.”  When people who are on that side of the success wagon in any of these areas are trying to YELL saying, “You think this was easy?!?  You think I was just made this way? You didn’t see all the struggles I have gone through to get here.  You are discounting the struggles and years of failures by acting like it was easy. It wasn’t!!”

So have a big New Years goal if you want.  Maybe this will be your year.  OR you can decide to make one change TODAY!!  Don’t wait for Monday.  If you want to get into shape, then go outside and take a walk today.

Don’t go buy a membership; reward yourself with a membership AFTER you have walked or ran every day for a month.  If you want to begin your own at-home business, don’t put ANY money into it.  Begin to build a portfolio, make the plan, ask for advice, get a free website going.  Don’t spend money on it until you have done everything you can do before you spend the money.  Make the money you put out your reward for being consistent.

As you begin to listening to people who have done it before through The Quote of the Day Show, take it and run.  Be a good steward of what you have been given now and expect it to grow in fruit.  If your goal is big, break it down to achievable steps.  Make your goals not amount made or lost but your consistency and effort.  If you want to work out, no matter what, just do 1 thing a day towards that goal, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, anything.  If you want to build your education, then listen to an audio book on the topic only on your commute to work.  If you want to build a website, do one thing per day towards it.

This is habit making that creates a lasting change.  If you have big dreams, start small but remember that it is the consistency is what will lead you closer to success!!  Let’s do this together!!

 

The Path of an Entrepreneur

I’ve said a few times that I’ve never thought of myself as an Entrepreneur, but that has changed.  Through a series of events this year, I have realized that I’m capable of doing much more than classroom teaching.  I have realized that I can create and build whatever I want to do.  For instance, I have the ability to create unique curriculum and written documents with a combination of skills that I was born with and some that I have learned.

I have realized that I have is that I can see the big picture while being able to break down the steps to achieve that goal.  I can use formal documents or standards that I am unfamiliar with, quickly read and understand them, and then use those standards to create a plan to apply them.   I can teach myself how to do anything, read any formal documents, and create a plan to achieve a goal.

I actually LOVE this process.  Just the other day I began to work with a lady that I didn’t know to create curriculum for her physical therapy course (I have no experience in physical therapy).  She sent me the standards and expectations that she needs to cover during her course and I began to map out a lesson plan and unit plan that she can use so that she can use this guide for her state required accreditation document.

This is all second nature for me.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE it.  That said, I am already thinking of ways that I can streamline this process for other professionals to use.

Working with different people, teaching them how to think like a teacher, and helping them to write or create what they need to be successful would be my DREAM JOB!!

During something like this, I would do what I was made to do: TEACH.  And work with adults to do what I love: create, write, research, and collaborate.  Finally, I get to move on and do it again in a different environment, with different people.  This is a definite plus because I get bored and distracted so easily.

It is amazing how I’ve always known that I would be a teacher, yet I never would have imagined that I would leave the K-12 school system. Now, I’m excited to use those same skills that I have learned in the classroom to help other professionals to create curriculum, write and edit formal documents, open their own businesses, and accomplish their dreams… be a consultant of sorts.

Right now, I have a few different paths.  I’m going to step forward in them all until they begin to fail or become something different.  I am simultaneously finishing this school year teaching, writing a grant for a non-profit, helping this physical therapist with curriculum, and finishing my paperwork to get my Masters in Teaching Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).  I have applied for a few full-time jobs at the university that I am attending: a Project Assistant and a Library Tech job.  Either one would be a good position for me because this is just a means to an end.  If I work full-time there for a year, I can get my Doctorate program paid for.  Plus, I can learn so much in any job that I have and use it to accomplish my mission to create and build a service-type business that I was made for.  LET’S DO THIS!!

 

How Much?

 

How much am I willing to give AND to give up to get what I want and am feeling called to?  

 

Most people are okay with ONLY being comfortable.  They want a comfortable job, with a comfortable family… a comfortable paycheck with a comfortable retirement.

Oh, the idea of being rich is wonderful to everyone but is not worth the discomfort involved for most.  The idea for more is too scary.  We want to do the same things that we do every day and hope that fortune comes to us in a miraculous way.  We want to hit the lotto the 1 or hundreds of times that we play.  We want our blogs or YouTube channels to build followers and magically turn into money makers.  We are willing to do the same things every day and hope that someone notices us.  Sometimes though, we are willing to put in a few uncomfortable steps into the process.  We pay money for an at-home business that we will put some time and effort into until it takes too much out of our lives or hasn’t become as easy a money maker as it claimed.    We pay for our blogs or YouTube channels in order to build our market, consistently create for a while until the followers diminish, or we don’t have as many clicks as we once had and lose motivation.

Every once in a while I ask a new class, “Who do you think is the most successful celebrity?”  Many of them say the newest rap or hip hop star that I’ve never heard of so I wouldn’t even begin to try to quote them.  Then I offer up one and pause, “Rob Dyrdek.” They sit, shocked a while, before I explain.

Rob Dyrdek may not be the richest celebrity.  He looks and acts like a total goofball on TV, but he has used his resources to do many things he loves and is one of the hardest workers out there.  The first thing he did was become a professional skater, and how did he do that?  He worked harder and longer than everyone to become good and the best at what he loved to do.  He started at a young age and determined that he would practice so that he would become the best.  It wasn’t an accident.  He didn’t rely only on his talent.  He didn’t wait around for someone to notice him.  He sought recognition and received it because he PROVED that he was good enough over and over again.  

The next thing he did was use his money and success to move forward.  He didn’t decide that he would be immortal (like Tony Hawk) and skate or compete forever. *pause for a laugh* He didn’t stop what he loved, but he used what he loved to do more.  Most athletes and competitors get sponsors and do ads, but most athletes and competitors don’t get their own TV show and especially not multiple shows like Rob has.  It is obvious that he has dipped his hands into multiple pieces of the entertainment world and followed through with the doors that opened.  Things aren’t easy for anyone.  It may seem to the viewers that everything fell into place perfectly because that is what we see on screen.  But we don’t see the long hours of planning, preparing, and reacting to constant challenges behind those scenes.  

**I would love to interview him one day and find out the truth behind his success-the struggles and the hard work involved.

HOW MUCH AM I WILLING TO GIVE

I find myself at the end of the day EVERY DAY wondering what I did.  I woke up with all these plans to read this, write that, do this, and finally complete that which has been on my to-do list for months.  But I realize each day that I did a mere percent of what I could have done.  Writing this blog once a week is a challenge, but I do feel good when I get it done and know that I can do more.  Yes, that is a success but I want to succeed at doing more of what I want to do that will produce something, and less of the things I do that are time-wasters.

  • Am I willing to read when I want to take a nap?
  • Am I willing to write when the thought pops into my head rather than telling myself “I will later”?
  • Am I willing to finish what I have started rather than feeling overwhelmed by how much I have left to do?
  • Am I willing to stop making excuses to be as successful as I know I can be?
  • Am I willing to give up the mundane to have the opportunity to be a success?
  • Am I willing to change my idea of success from comfortable to extreme risk taker?
  • Am I willing to stop being afraid of what I may fail at and have courage to face my fears so that I can be who I know I am called to be?

HOW MUCH AM I WILLING TO GIVE UP?

I am a believer, so I know that God has a purpose for my life.  He is guiding me and is leading me out of my comfort zone.  I am a single mom, so I’m pretty certain that I am not called to be a missionary (at least any time soon, not that it can’t happen to other single moms).  I know that God has given me the task to raise up my children in the way that they will go.  I also know that He has provided for me more than I could ever imagine or expect.  But lately, I feel an urge from Him to do more, to BE more.  In the past few months things have happened that point directly to something bigger than I could imagine.  I’ve mentioned it in a few other posts, but the stage is being set before me… and it SCARES the crap out of me.  I want mundane sometimes.  I want comfortable, and what He is calling me to do isn’t mundane or comfortable.  It isn’t me getting remarried and having a comfortable life where I depend on my husband for emotional and financial support (which is an awesome gig if you have that).  God is calling me further into letting HIM be my emotional and financial support while I walk into a life that will further my education and my perceived abilities.

I’ve asked Him if He wants me in ministry and I hear a pretty clear no, not in the classic way anyways.  The need which I see needs to be filled is that  the conservative base needs to have a stronger presence in academia, not to necessarily take over, but to rebuild the balance that has been lost.

The nation has become so divided that credibility is lost from both the liberal and conservative sides when we interact or are educated by the other side. We must regain the respect from the ground up.  For the popular culture, people who are educated in Christian colleges or schools like it are just doing what they are taught and haven’t experienced the “real world.”  For Christians who go to mainstream universities, we are so inundated and ostracized that it is almost impossible to get out alive, so to speak.  Simply speaking, my goal is to get through the graduate system “alive” and come out with credibility to create a positive change in the K-12 educational system.

So how much am I going to give up?

  • Am I going to give up thinking too far into the future unknown since it scares me from doing what I need to do presently?
  • Am I going to give up time-wasting activities to use my time wisely so that I don’t feel like I’ve wasted “yet another day”?
  • Am I going to give up making excuses or thinking I can’t because it’s too much?
  • Am I going to give up my negative self-talk and trust that I have way more capability than I see in myself?

QUESTIONS

  • What do you need to give up to spend more time building your future success?
  • What do you need to start doing daily and hourly NOW that you would love to be an expert at in 5-20 years?
  • What would you change in the world if you could? What can you do about it?
  • What credibility do you need to be perceived as an expert in what you want?  How can you achieve that credibility?

 

 

I have decided that if I am going to move up in the field of education to eventually be a leader in this school choice movement, then I need to address the issues as a business with a education focus.  These are the problems with public education that I would like to be addressed once I enter this level of leadership:

  1. If school choice is going to be pushed through the nation, including California, then I want people who are educated or have experience as teachers building this movement, not business people.  School choice is a chance for schools to fix what is broken and will NEVER be fixed through public education.  Allowing parents to choose schools WILL force even public schools to rethink their strategies and become better at what they do.  My current school district has seen a drop in enrollment for about 10 years in a row because when parents see consistent problems, they choose other options.  And, yes, common core has a great negative influence on many parents.  My school district has actually made improvements to be more competitive in the past few years.  A few years ago we were forced into program improvement and only then have we begun a movement into using scientifically proven educational strategies.  Many people would agree that we were stuck in the dark ages and were forced into this change.  Many teachers who love their craft and constantly move towards self-improvement have made school better for their students.  Others, though, have stayed the same because, you know, tenure.  Tenure allows crappy teachers to stay crappy teachers because after they are tenured, it’s their choice.  After they begin their first day of their third year, they can stay in the stone age if they so desire and who reaps the consequences?  Everyone but the tenured teacher who can’t be fired… Awesome!!
  2. Rigor in public schools is rarely found outside of advanced classes.  I’m referring to rigor as most of us remember it, rigor that required memorization and application. Rigor that allowed us to begin our freshman year of college somewhat prepared for college level work.  I mean somewhat because all of us had some sort of difficulty adjusting, but not to the level that we are seeing in college freshmen today.  Students get so much CHOICE in the classroom, that they think they can pick and choose what they do and don’t based off whether they enjoy the activity (or the teacher) or not.  We teachers hold their hands and if they choose not to succeed it, we are to blame.  Teachers are expected to create a PERFECT environment for the students to have rigorous texts, but not too rigorous that they give up.  We are expected to make them think but not too much.  We are expected to have great classroom management skills but we must insure that the students like us, because we all know that we only learn from people we like… hum…  Well, in the world of education today, if everything isn’t perfect for each student, then it’s the teacher’s responsibility to change, not the student.  No wonder we are creating a bunch of snowflakes that can’t handle the world.  I have an enormous amount of students with health problems including physical problems like thyroid issues and many psychological problems like anxiety and depression.   The least amount of sternness or blatantly clear expectations from me brings on anxiety attacks, meltdowns, and students thinking they can cuss me out and leave because of their stress level or that I “disrespected them.”  Students have not been taught respect for elders because they get so much choice.  Damn, if I could choose, I would have chosen for Marine Corps boot camp to be more like girl scout camp.  I would have chosen for all my professors in college to let me have 3 times as long to read the texts that were difficult or even take them out of the curriculum if it was too difficult or if I didn’t agree with it.  We are not doing the students any favors by dumbing down the curriculum for them.  In fact, that brings me to my next point.
  3. Alternative schools are not helping to improve students chance to succeed, they seem to be in place just to give the schools another way to make money off the students.  Each student equals money for schools.  Most of these types of schools are half-day programs (8-12 or 12-4, or some variation).  The days are cut in half and the expectations within each class period are cut in half, resulting in students getting a quarter of the content as a regular school.  I know from experience that even getting a quarter of the education into a classroom full of gang members, literal juvenile delinquents, and students whose parents can’t control them or don’t care is better than nothing.  But this is an injustice to those students who do graduate.  As much as students who graduate from regular high schools aren’t prepared for adulthood and college level expectations, students that graduate from alternative schools are ill-equipped for any jobs with opportunity for growth and they are definitely not prepared for any trade school or college.  Even the few students that have the hope for college realize very quickly how little resources they have personally and communally to succeed.  This is an act of appeasement.  We are appeasing to the students lack of motivation, desire, and perceived abilities.  We are not giving them a fair chance to succeed by sliding them through because we have lowered the standards.  These students with anxiety and depression issues, the students who lack motivation to even work hard in school will become adults with the same problems.

I guess this is just the beginning of my rant.  Next time I will provide some solutions.

QUESTIONS

  • How wrong would it be to put aside the book work education and provide students who don’t buy into the system with a trade that is useful and needed in society?
  • Since these programs are already available and seeing success, how difficult would it be to implement into an already running district of alternative education schools?
  • Have you ever heard of any schools that are doing this and are successful?
  • Is tenuring teachers after the beginning of their third year fair to students?  Especially the students who get the teachers who immediately begin to act like 30 year teachers.
  • There are many seemingly successful alternative schools that focus on school culture, student choice, and student interest; however, are these schools actually preparing students to be contributing members or society, preparing them for the work world, and/or preparing them for trade school or college?

Interested in reading more about tenure?  Here are a few articles:

Interested in reading more about alternative schooling:

Not Okay with the Mundane

I don’t think that I’m alone when I say that my passions and desires scare me sometimes.

Sometimes I want to be vaguely successful, able to have a good enough career to take care of my family, and simply ignore the want for more.  I’ve gotten to the point in my life though where I can’t read even one paragraph of any text without having to stop to write down a million ideas that it gives me about the topic or completely irrelevant.   That’s when I know that I can’t ignore it anymore.  Having all these ideas and hopes and dreams is exhausting and scary sometimes.  I want to be able to read a novel without thinking about how I would teach it.  I want to be able to read a motivational text without having to respond to it in writing.  But I can’t anymore.

Getting a further education, a masters, and possibly a PhD scares me.  I know people who have gotten these things and they haven’t gotten much more than a regular paying job and debt.  What if I go on for my PhD and am mediocre in the field?  What if I can’t keep up with the expectations of being a professional in my field? What if I have to uproot my family to a far off place just for a job?  What if I become one of those people who are over-skilled and can’t find anything? Most of these questions seem so far-fetched, but I can’t stop thinking about it.  There are too many unknowns. I don’t want all this drive and passion because I feel that there is going to be too much responsibility attached.

I do know that I won’t be happy as a classroom teacher for the rest of my career.  I do know that I’ve changed what I’m passionate about at least 3 times this year.  First I started taking online classes for an ELD Literacy Certificate, then I decided that I wanted to be a grant writer for schools, and then I wanted to get my MA in Curriculum Development.  Now I’m thinking, Why stop there?  I should get my MA in Educational Leadership because then I have a HUGE range of options.  But then, I think about going on the principal track and I think, There’s no way I could do that!!

Well, I couldn’t be a principal in a public school.  I have way too little tact for that.  I don’t like dealing with lazy, self-serving parents.  I can’t even imagine it.  But I could help lead the charge for school choice in San Diego.  The natural grocery store owner friend said I should open up my own school.  Uhhh, that sounds crazy… BUT AWESOME!!  I know for a fact that there are grants available to open up charter schools and Montessori schools.  I don’t know how to write grants officially yet, but I will soon.

THINGS CHANGE, YOU CAN CHANGE

I get inspired to write by anything I read.  The other day I read a blog post from Jeanette Hanscome.  She said, “All of this reminds me that when we are willing to step out in bravery and faith, God has the opportunity to do all kinds of cool and unexpected things! It is especially exciting when our expectations start out small and He surpasses them almost immediately.”

I would have never expected to be jobless again.  I would have never planned to become as passionate a writer as I have become.  I would have never expected to be going back to school to get my MA and possibly further. I would have never thought to ask God to put the specific people he has put in my life very recently.  I do know that He’s putting something on my heart to do.  I do know that He has placed very unique and effective educators, grant writers, university educational librarians, and community college teachers in my life very recently.  I haven’t been able to piece it all together yet but it doesn’t seem like it has happened by coincidence.

QUESTIONS

I know that I’m ready to move when He is, but I have some questions for Him.

  • I know that You want me to step out in faith, but could You please make the path a tiny bit more clear?
  • Am I supposed to stay where I am or move?  Is my future in this town or elsewhere?
  • If You do want me to go on this path, could You provide some at-home job that supplements some income?

 

 

Too Many Options

I have not been an official teacher for long, only 5 years, but I have worked in schools as a teacher’s aide, substitute, and a student teacher for about 10.  Teaching is my life. I’ve always known I would be a teacher, and I know I will always be in the field of education in some way.  But like many Millennials, I am discontent with doing the same thing each year.  That is why I don’t.  I will never be a teacher that repeats the same lesson or unit each year. I am an introvert at heart (even though my students balk at the idea that I could be an introvert), and so I thrive on creativity and thoughtfulness.  Honestly, I have never been much of a creative writer (fiction writer), but I have always been a writer.  My favorite types of writing have always been simple journaling or critical thinking-like picking apart bias and general academic expository writing.   Just recently I have realized my passion for curriculum writing, grant writing, and now blogging.

The instant gratification part of me needs feedback NOW!!  But the logical part of me realizes that I need to continue to write, after a few dozen posts, I may pay the extra money to start getting more readers, and continue to trudge through this difficult process while learning from each and every post and mistake.

As much as I don’t relate to most of the stereotypical millennial thinking, I have to admit that I am one. I fall on the earlier side of Millennials, and I was raised by my father who is a retired Sergeant Major in the Marine Corps and Vietnam Vet.  I have grown up with the blue collar worker mentality to earn what I get and work harder to earn more.  But as a Millennial want instant gratification and I want to change the world immediately or I lose drive and hope quickly.  But since I know I am this way, I fight my nature.  Each blog post I complete, I think about how this is just one small step toward one of my goals.    Whether this becomes a successful blog or not, I don’t know.  I hope it will become one but I can’t force people to want to read my ramblings.  But this is a means to an end of finding out exactly what and how I will be successful.

Today after church I started talking to a local natural grocery story owner, the only one in our town, and he recommended that I start listening to Sean Croxton- Quote of the Day.  He said that as an entrepreneur he has had to change his thinking about success. He has to constantly remind himself of what he wants and how he’s going to achieve it.  He knows that success won’t happen if he’s stagnant and negative.  I know that his store is very small but successful.  I attribute it to who he is.  He opened this store that provides something that this little town didn’t already have.  They didn’t have a natural grocery store.  But also he is a man of great integrity who takes amazing care of his family and is in the store carrying bags out for people and each day he spends his time chatting with his customers.  He is currently renovating a newer larger store to open in a few months. It’s been very interesting for me, as an observer, to see this process he and his store is going through during the past year or so.  They have hit so many road blocks, with the county, construction problems, and on but he is always positive and helpful to everyone he comes across.

NOW WHAT?

I have NEVER thought of myself as an entrepreneur until this year.  This desire has welled up in me to do more, be more, and know more.  I have to admit that I’m not content in the classroom.  I want to do more practical things for people who appreciate me and that I have the skills to make their dreams a reality.  Just in the past 3 weeks I have considered all the things that I want to do:

  1. Get my Masters in some sort of educational program:
    1. Leadership to be a teacher leader.  Most of the time these teacher leaders become principals but that sounds very scary to me.
    2. Technology and literacy: I want to know how to use technology to create wonderful curriculum that I can publish and sell.
    3. Curriculum development: I already have about 20 units that I can finish and publish.
  2. Get my PhD and help with the push toward school choice.
    1. Open up a school where we present a better balance of viewpoints, focus on morality, are proud Americans, and do projects do change our communities and our country. If I get my masters in Educational Leadership, this would be a natural next step.
  3. Go in a completely different direction: creative technology (website design and educational technology), business-focused writing, and be a freelance writer.  I realize it is possible for me to do this while doing the other things.

Now I could just simply go get another teaching job.  But then it would push all these goals farther and farther into the future.  The logical, single mom in me wants to put all this on hold.  But the entrepreneur in me wants to make 100k so that I can buy a nice house in San Diego and build a great life for my daughters.

QUESTIONS

Now, these are my options, what am I going to do about it?

  • Where should I go to school and what should I pick as my major?  Going to school for leadership (Principal education) scares me to no end.
  • How am I going to take care of my daughters in the process?
  • How long is it going to take to make all this schooling worth it?
  • What if everything falls apart?

Problems

Let them shape you but don’t let them define you.

I’ve already said a few times that I am not a typical entrepreneur.  I was not born to speak in large crowds; I am actually an introvert by nature.  I have never sold anything in my life and would die of embarrassment before I would become a salesman, at least in the typical sense of the word.  I am so bent on being myself that I fail constantly.  I say the wrong thing, I am not a perfectionist, and I am continually dwelling on what I am not.   Even saying the word entrepreneur when referring to myself makes me shake as I type.

This desire to do more has sprung out of me mostly out of necessity.  I need to make myself indispensable.  I need to make myself successful so that I’m not stressing about money every month.  I am creative and constantly have ideas but have the problem that most of us have, follow through.

FOLLOW THROUGH

I live my life constantly reminding myself what not to do and who I don’t want to be.  I don’t want to be a person who needs instant gratification.  I don’t want to be content with the minimum.  I don’t want to get to the end of my life and realize that I was capable of so much more than I did.  I don’t want to waste my life on Facebook.  I don’t want to give up after any mistake no matter how large it may be.  I don’t want to be stressing over money forever. I don’t want to rent an apartment or have roommates forever.  I don’t want to see people who need help and not be able to help them.  I don’t want to waste the gifts that God has given to me.  I don’t want to do it all on my own and have to rely on my own strength because, to be honest, I am a single mom and EXHAUSTED most of the time.

I know my weaknesses, almost too well.  But I also know that God uses people’s weaknesses for His glory all the time.  I rejoice in my weakness because through my weakness can reveal God’s strength.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

I will not succeed in my goals if I don’t take steps toward them.  I must believe that I can succeed.  I must believe that any level of education is possible for me PhD or whatever I choose.  I must learn from mistakes and not get overwhelmed.  I must make goals but complete one task at a time, one blog post at a time, one semester or class at a time, one day at a time.  I must not waste time.

But I also must spend time with my children and love their youth.  I must manage my household effectively.  I must take care of my body, my health, and my relationship with God, friends, and family.  I must realize that instant success will be worse for me than the gradual building of it.  I must manage each set of responsibilities in each season to my best ability.  I must be content in my circumstances and be thankful for what God has provided.  I must allow people to help me if I need it and ask for help if needed.

I detail every way that I’m failing in this current season of my life, but this season will last until June, I must accept this.  Now what will I do after that?  I have no clue.  I do have ideas, but I must be content and thankful that God has provided me with time to plan out my next steps.  When I think about all that must take place for everything to go back to school, I almost give myself an anxiety attack…. Housing, costs, school for my soon to be 2nd grader, childcare for my 3 year old, what exactly to major in, how long will I need to go to school, will I start a PhD immediately following or just get my MA,  how is it possible to find affordable housing in San Diego close to the university, which college should I go to,  should I start applying for scholarships now, should I go to a Christian college or just use my beliefs to influence my program… and much, much more.

But I know that God knows my future.  He knows what’s best for me and my girls.  I will trust Him even in my most anxious moments because He brought me here.  He has always taken care of us.  He will use the problems in my life to bring Him glory… and truly I could have much worse problems in my life than these.

 

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