The blogging community has provided us with fabulous connections to women all over the world. But as much as we love our #girlbosses abroad, there’s something to be said about the bond between those from Oklahoma. We were drawn to Cheyenne of The Gray Report by her cool and casual style and immediately knew we wanted to network with her. Little did we know, she was right down the road in Waurika! Now she’s here today sharing about what she’s learned from her unexpected journey to becoming a teacher. We hope it will give you a different perspective on the educators in your life and the lives of our children.
-The Women of The Well
During college I remember thinking, “If journalism doesn’t work out, I can always just be a teacher.” See, when I was a student at the University of Oklahoma all I thought I wanted to be was an award-winning, confident, and creative journalist. I wanted to share my thoughts in my writing and have a crowd read and connect to those. Never did I think I would be sharing my thoughts with seven and eight year olds in a classroom filled with pencils, books, and questions asking “why.”
This year starts my third year teaching 2nd grade at Waurika Elementary School, where I as a little girl once attended. My days now consist of grading papers, reminding students to raise their hands, and teaching these students how to comprehend stories. After three years I understand the hardships teachers face, the degrading spirit from the state and parents, and the constant overtime. Though, throughout the trying days, teaching has taught me that this is not “just” a job–this is so much more.
Teaching taught me patience.
At a Title I school, it is often difficult to teach students on varying levels. Some kids are advanced, reading on third and fourth grade levels, while some are still learning to write their names. All of this was a hard task to finagle. I remember when I first started teaching three years ago I would come home and literally sit on the couch and cry because I wanted to pull my hair out. My brain was fried. I couldn’t tolerate any more questions and I felt I was stretched too thin. It was during these moments I learned to be patient. I learned to give the students more time to actually think and be independent. I learned that not everything had to be done “right then.”
Teaching taught me how important a mentor truly is.
During my first year teaching, I was lucky enough to have my 1st grade teacher Mrs. Kidd, mentor me throughout the year. She taught me how to discipline students, how to professionally deal with a bitter and difficult parent, how to love, and how to let God take control. It was this year that I learned so much. This year, with Mrs. Tyler, has been the same experience. Daily, she tells her students her expectations, her goals for them, and how they are to behave. With wonderful classroom management, it is from her and Mrs. Kidd that I learned diligence, skill, and kindness- all of which are needed for this job.
Teaching taught me how to love children as my own.
“Make sure the kids know you love them and that you are glad they are in your class,” Mrs. Tyler, said. This factor might be the most important one of all. So many kids these days don’t have a stable home life. Their parents might even be completely out of the picture. This is where a teacher steps in. It is a teacher’s job to love, care, and fight for students because they might not have anyone else. This is where it becomes not “just a job.”
Thinking back to college and my life plan, I still get surprised when I think of myself being a teacher. It is sometimes hard to fathom that I have a part in shaping these young minds and have the opportunity to teach them how to be good citizens of this world. But as little as I teach them, they teach me so much more. They teach me how to love, how to care for others, and how to celebrate the little things in life. This is simply not “just a job,” but instead a place I call home filled with many, many family members.
A Lesson in Style
Even though I spend my days in the classroom, I like to stay trendy and stylish. Here’s some teacher’s “uniform” inspiration and a little taste of what you can find on my style + beauty blog, The Gray Report.
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