I found this pic chillin' in the archives and wanted to share a little piece of my heart.
Once upon a time, I was a middle school/high school physical education and health teacher.
Since the 9th grade, I had been saying "I will be the PE/Health teacher at Whiting High." and then I did it.
I got there.
The exact vision and more.
I got to work with kids in my hometown on prioritizing their health and fitness. I taught them four square. They took tests and hated it usually. They danced...with partners!
I taught them goal-setting and nutrition. We studied substance abuse and eating disorders. We talked about sex and calculated the cost of having a child over an 18 year period.
I also taught them compassion.
I taught them moderation, discipline, and pride.
I taught them to treat others as they wanted to be treated.
I showed them what listening looks like. I asked them to think before responding and to make eye contact when communicating. I encouraged them to share their truths and they did.
And sometimes, I yelled. I specifically remember a day when we had a sub for my boys locker room attendant and the by the time I got into the gym, all 30 of my basketballs were off the rack and in every corner of the court. I was furious. They ran for the remainder of that period while I lectured them about choice.
I swore I taught them more respect than taking advantage of a sub to get up a few shots and then leaving the gym a mess.
I also cried.
I remember crying about kids I wanted to adopt after hearing about their home lives. I cried over a 6th grader realizing he COULD in fact jump a rope 50 times in a row. I cried over thank you cards and more.
I laughed, a lot.
I laughed at basketball practices with my girls and in the 'small gym' when the kids wanted another week of handball tournament even though they thought it was stupid the first three days of learning all the rules.
I fumed with frustration when a parent told me her son would not be dancing because she was raising a man, not a daughter and "why was a female teaching boys in gym anyways."
I smiled with pride to witness my booster club bringing students to each other's games and running *very entertaining* halftime competitions and raffles.
In my time teaching, I joked. I sighed. I huffed and puffed. I cheered. I was tested and so were my students.
I loved teaching. I didn't always love the education system, but I certainly loved teaching.
I can see so many of my students faces in my mind's eye and I see a lot of them in my news feed weekly.
I am proud to have gotten to work with children and when I left teaching, I always knew I would just be working with them in new ways down the road.
Today, I have an 11 year old 'client' and we talk about her future, appropriate communication skills, powerful choices, and the consequences of actions. Calls with her do something special to my heart.
There is a unique sense of joy working with children brings me.
I also speak to groups of children and facilitate powerful workshops that encourage communication.
Watching kids realize it is safe to open up cracks my heart wide open.
I. Love. Children. and I love to see them growing up knowing the are loved, cared for, and provided for.
I love seeing these children become adults and contributing members of society.
I love coaching the inner children of adults to help them too understand that they are safe and that the perceived threat or need to survive is over.
I love seeing adults take their inner authority back and create the rest of their lives powerfully.
The same way I did in teaching, in coaching I cry, laugh, joke, reflect, share, and more.
One thing I am grateful for these days is I don't yell.
I don't have to because I have explored my own anger and frustration enough to see that yelling doesn't communicate anything I want to say effectively.
I am so happy about this because anger used to prevent me from making deeper levels of connection, understanding, and impact.
One of my favorite identities in life is Ms. Gazda.
I am forever a teacher at heart.
I am so grateful to the students who taught me as much as I taught them.
Every staff is unique and have their own energy.
I am just so grateful to have fulfilled my goal and role as a teacher.
To all the teachers pouring their hearts into their purpose as an educator, I am, WE are holding you up energetically to shape, impact, and transform those little hearts into big, unleashed hearts.
Thank you. Love you,