I know this time of year can be hard for teachers. You learn you are being transferred to a new school, teaching a different grade, or trying to decide a new career path. As a school year winds down, I thought I’d share the journey I’ve taken during my career in hopes to inspire or provide clarity to those of you who are trying to “figure things out.” I’d like to help you ignite your impact. Let me explain.
Back in June of 2008, I decided to go back to school to get my specialist degree in reading. I was still in the classroom teaching first grade. While I thought about trying my hand at being a literacy coach, I didn’t want to do anything until after my youngest daughter finished elementary school.
After being in classes for a little over a semester, I was asked to interview for a literacy coach position in my district. At first, I said no. I wasn’t interested because I didn’t want to leave my daughter. I had been with my other two children during their elementary years and felt it necessary to be with her as well. My mentor was persistent and asked me to at least meet the principal. I finally caved and said I would meet with him. I immediately fell in love with him and knew we could do great things but still wasn’t convinced it was time to leave the job I loved, at a school I loved even more, and leave my daughter.
I prayed (and I worried) about it all night. The next day I attended a summer institute my mentor puts on every year. During a break, one of my fellow teachers asked me if I had decided about the job. I told her no and asked her this question, “How do you know what “God’s Plan” is for your life? We talked for a few minutes, and I went back to my seat. That is when it happened; a life-changing experience I will never forget. I received an email from a colleague, and this is what it said:
“Hi! I read something interesting in God’s Master Plan. (Actually, this is the longest it has ever taken me to complete a book. I read something really good…have to stop and think/pray over it and then move on.) Anyway, Jennifer, Gloria Copeland wrote ‘the Holy Spirit will help you find those hidden abilities. He’ll bring out of your innermost being the capacity to do things that no one including you ever thought possible.’ That was encouraging to a person like me…He sees a capacity within me to do something wonderful. It’s kind of like, I guess, bodybuilders. We have those same muscles with abilities to develop but don’t press into what it may take. Hmm. This bears looking into some more! That He’s really equipped me with all the abilities necessary to do what I’ve been called to do. That’s pretty cool. He’ll just have to work with me like He did Gideon in the book of the Judges (OT). Just wanted to pass that on. May not have as much impact on you as with me because you do excel in what you believe He’s called you for. Then again it may!…see you soon!” – Maria
I immediately started to cry. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I had never received such a clear message from GOD. Of course, I took the job, and you might think life was perfect as a literacy coach. Unfortunately, I didn’t like it very much. Every year after I received Maria’s email, I would begin the new school year excited about the possibilities but never felt good about what I was doing, until the day I walked away.
You know it’s funny the way GOD works. I started creating websites way before I ever became a literacy coach. It was back in 2003, I think. I had my website for my class and even created a website for every teacher in the school. I tried to get everyone on board, but the only one interested was my best friend, Shari. I think we were just ahead of our time.
In 2004, Shari died. I lost myself that day and to be honest; it has taken me a long time to get back on track. I think GOD sent me that email to get me back online. My little piece of the Internet is where I am supposed to be, and I feel good about it.
Ignite Your Impact
I LOVED being a teacher and instructional technology coach (not so much a literacy coach — although I love literacy), but I must admit I have never been happier than I am right now. I love what I do!
I called this post “Ignite Your Impact”. What that means to me is I want to help other people and make a difference in the world. I want to encourage others to live a life filled with happiness and purpose.
Life is too short! I am no longer going to live my life in sadness. Shari wouldn’t want that, and neither do I. You will notice on the menu at the top of this website are the words “Ignite Your Impact”. If you click the link, it will take you to my new website.
My plans for the blog is to chronicle my journey as an entrepreneur. One of the things I have learned over the last two years is that being an entrepreneur is so much more than business. It’s about building character, trust, inner peace, and so much more. I would love it if you joined me on my journey! And better yet, maybe I can help you on yours.
I will still be blogging away here at Tech with Jen and I know my new adventure will provide me the clarity I need to make this site even better. I am here to serve you in any way I can. Comment below and tell me how I can help you.