Teaching is part of weaving a tapestry. Sometimes you hope the stitches show and sometimes it is better if they are hidden for others to decode. I prepare for my classes often by speaking aloud and collecting my thoughts whenever I can. Sometimes by walking, sometimes while baking in the store, or sometimes at night visualizing the result I need to have happen in the classroom. This past year, we had company from the start of the new semester in January until the end of July. A friend of my husbands and his teenage son needed to stay with us in Tampa for awhile so he could visit the Tampa VA hospital. He was an old military friend to my husband. So, initially I was fine with it until I realized how awkward prepping for my lessons would be.

Michael prepared a little office space in our bedroom for me to work on papers, etc. and he bought me headphones so I could shut out noise. But, truth be told, it was difficult. I had early morning classes beginning at 8:30 until 12:30 so, I left very early arriving before 7:30 to prep. I am sure that some of the instructors found me exceedingly dedicated as often I arrived earlier than admissions and the Registrar! And in the little adjunct office, which was to myself, I prepared my lessons.
So, I learned to adjust and tried to be a teacher who can work with all sorts of distractions including loud blaring from action packed movies. His friend also brought an enormous TV so I also learned more about sports than I ever wanted to know! Well, our house is again our home for my husband and me! A learning experience! The same is true of my time with my students; I have been trying to learn how to let the students propel forward and do the work instead of me taking up the reins. It is a matter of knowing when to let go and let them work because I already have my degree and I understand the material. It is up to them to prove to me they understand. They need to read and reread the material.

Another lesson that I have learned this semester is that my experiences are not unique. My husband is subbing 2, sometimes 3 times a week which allows him to experience time outside our store and not burn out. It also allows me 2 days a week to run the store independently. Anyway, he can relate to some of my subbing experiences in 2000-2003 while I was working on my masters. Some schools are wonderful to work with and others, the end of the day cannot come fast enough. We have both had to make some big adjustments in our attitude, expectations, and ability to go with the flow of our life while establishing our small business. Sometimes, I feel like I am the instructor and other times, I feel like life is sure teaching us! A business acquaintance of ours has a good colloquialism “You are being schooled.”

Looking back and rereading bring back fond memories, but living those days was not always easy.