In the fall of 2012, I started a new role (still in education) that didn't involve working directly with students. It's hard to believe it's been seven years. That first year and the next couple of years, I found myself thinking about the impact I was making now that I wasn't interacting with students on a daily basis in the sam way that I had been my entire career up until then. It was definitely a switch and I definitely did some soul searching. I still think about kids everyday. I miss teaching everyday. A super smart woman I worked for once would remind me all the time that if I ever stopped longing to go back, if I ever stopped thinking about kids, if I ever forgot what it was like to be in a classroom, then it was time to go back. I think what she meant was that we should always work in our non-classroom roles with a teacher's heart.
I love my role as an instructional coach and I love the district I'm working in. It's small and I know all the teachers and most of our students. Now that it's my fourth year here, I'm finally feeling like it's home. When I left my previous district, it was like leaving family but now I feel like I have a new family in my current district.
I've had the opportunity to share my love of reading and writing with kids in our district throughout the years but I keep craving more. I keep thinking of the time I've spent at 826CHI and how I wish we could have a similar space here in Mundelein. A few years ago I put a tiny dream out into the universe. It was a dream of having my own fun and funky space for writing that would welcome people of all ages and celebrate the power of story.
In 2015, I started Story Exploratory. At first it was a blog, then I merged that blog with this blog, and now it's a website. Actually it's a website with a workshop page and a way to register for my very first ever public Story Exploratory workshop. I'm starting with a workshop I call ¿Quién Soy Yo? after a game we used to play with my Mamita. I'm not sure what Story Exploratory will evolve into or how or when but I'm excited to see where it takes me.
It's all because I'll always be a teacher at heart and I'll always love kids and reading and writing and because I did some soul searching and realized having a space of my own to nurture writers feels like something I'm supposed to do.
If you're nearby, I hope you can make it to one of my workshops. Maybe even this first one! And if you aren't close...I have some ideas of what I could offer to you too but if you have some suggestions, please let me know. And either way, if you have some love and encouragement to send my way, I'd greatly appreciate it.