I loved teaching. It was ALL I ever wanted to be from the time I was 4. I never pictured myself being anything else but a teacher.
I had a hard time with the word “quit”... I was raised to never ever quit. I have 4 teacher certifications, a bachelors, and a masters degree… add up that time and money...eek! I planned on going all in on teaching and climbing the salary schedule, but when I became a mom everything changed.
Listen in to this episode to hear the ten things that happened when I left my teaching job.
When I walked out of the classroom in May of 2015 two days before my third baby was scheduled to arrive, I really had no idea it was going to be my last day. I loved teaching. I enjoyed the teaching. I loved getting to know the students. I loved getting to know the families. I absolutely loved watching the breakthroughs in the students and the growth that happened in nine months. It was truly, truly incredible.
At the time I was a first grade teacher and I was having my third baby. I did not know that he was going to have some medical issues. I really had no idea that it was going to be my last day of teaching. You can hear all about my story in my first podcast episode HERE.
I really had this desire for more, I had this desire for more freedom, more time with my kids, more time with my family. I felt like I was being expected to do more and more with less time. I was super frustrated.
It was all I ever wanted to be from the time I was four, I never really pictured myself being anything else. (Besides the time I told my mom I was going to be a teacher during the day, nurse at night and hairstylist on the weekend—True story.) I had a hard time with the word quit. I was raised to never ever quit. I never planned on leaving teaching. I had four teacher certifications, a bachelor's degree, and a masters degree, add up that time and money! I never planned on going anywhere, but I had this dream in my heart and I had this feeling of freedom and I just couldn't let it go. So today I want to talk to you about the 10 things that happened when I left teaching.
(Just ask my husband!) Being happier meant that I was no longer feeling so negative about life. I was so much happier and really this feeling of happy trickled into other parts of my life. It trickled into my marriage. It trickled into my family. It trickled everywhere. I just was happier. I smiled more. I talked more, I made more friends. I just became a happier person. It was almost like this big burden or weight was lifted off of my shoulders.
I started to look at what was possible—instead of looking at the retirement that was another 25 years away. Instead of waiting what life would be like “someday”, instead of constantly thinking about “someday”, planning the “someday” that I thought was inevitably going to happen…I started thinking about what I could make happen, what could actually truly come true.
I started actually learning more about healthy eating, healthy choices, how to take care of my body. I lost my mom to cancer at a young age and I needed to take better care of myself because I don't know what tomorrow is going to bring. I don't know how strong my body's going to need to be at some point and I needed to take better care of myself. Leaving teaching meant that I had more time to take care of myself. It meant that I could take care of myself instead of rushing to daycare, rushing to work, rushing home, rushing supper, rushing bath time, rushing bedtime, taking out my teacher bag. I actually have time to take better care of myself.
I also stopped putting myself into the, “I am a teacher” box. I had this identity of being a teacher. It was almost as if that was all I was. I wasn't even Kristin anymore. I was a teacher. That was my identity. I kind of lost myself somewhere along the way. I started being me and actually using my gifts and abilities.
The world got much bigger to me. Oh my gosh. I can't tell you how many friends I've made around the world. It is truly incredible, and the people I have served in other countries. How amazing is it to be able to impact not only the people right in your own community, but to have a greater impact on the world! It really is truly incredible how much more of an impact you can make. I always said I went into teaching to make a difference, but I make a difference every single day in other people's lives all over the world. How crazy is that?
So I didn’t lost my impact and I didn’t really quit teaching because I still teach. I'm still teaching-just in a different way.
If you look at my Facebook page, I have over 6,000 likes on my Facebook page. That is crazy to me. Some of the people that like my Facebook page are across the world. Some of the people are in the US. It doesn't matter. It's just that my message and influence can reach hundreds and thousands of people online. It is so incredible.
I actually had the time to spend listening to other people and talking to other people and getting to know other people. I didn't have to think about what I should have been doing. Instead to get ready for the teaching week, I could develop some deeper relationships.
Leaving the classroom also strengthened my faith. I'm not really quite sure why that happened. Maybe I just knew I had to cling to my faith when I made that big giant leap that I never planned on making. Or if it was because God knew that I would lose my mom and I needed faith to cling to. I'm not really sure, but my faith has been incredibly strengthened since I left the classroom.
I started owning what I got to do and how I got to spend my days. That meant if I wanted to work in a coffee shop in the middle of the day, I could. That meant if I wanted to go on a field trip with my kids, I could. That meant if I wanted to get my grocery shopping done on a Monday morning, I could. That meant that I could go for a walk on a beautiful fall day. I got to own my time.
I learned more about myself than ever before. Matter of fact, I often wish they would put personal development classes as part of a college curriculum! It is such a gift to get to know yourself, your abilities and to completely and totally strengthen your mind. We've all been through those life experiences that have affected us and made us be who we are today. When you truly work on yourself, big things happen.
I started dreaming bigger than I ever had before. I've never dreamt this big in my life. I never really thought it was possible, I guess, but now my dreams are so big and so deep. Every single day I get to be lit up by that. I am so grateful for the freedom I have to dream like that. I do not have to settle.
I was out for dinner recently with a friend and we were talking about this middle age that we're at now. We're not really middle aged, but… we are already married, we have been already blessed with children. We're not planning on having any more children. Our children are starting to grow up and it's kind of like the “now what” phase? It’s the second half of our working life. Her and I were talking about: Where do we all of a sudden flip? Where does that all of a sudden flip?
You start building your life, you get a job, you're so excited about live, you get married, you start having children, and everything is so busy. Then all of a sudden you’re saying, ‘Now what?’ And you're stuck in this in between. Do I just wait for retirement?
I'm so grateful that I get to live out this dream every single day and that every single day I get to dream bigger and bigger and bigger.
Now when I left teaching, I did not start sleeping more. I have this passion and a big dream in my heart. I'm not sitting on the couch and watching Netflix. Matter of fact, I don't ever watch TV. If you think you don’t have enough time in the day, turn off your TV!
If I'm not helping my family, serving my family, I'm chasing this dream. I'm telling you it's incredibly worth it. Just knowing that there's a future for me and that there's something possible for our family is so incredibly worth it.
So I want to encourage you, whether you are a teacher looking for more, just looking for another income or you are a mom that's just looking for more, take this sign as a sign to go for it because you never know what might be on the other side. You never know how different your life could drastically be.
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