I like change when I am the one driving it. Change, when it is forced upon me, ruffles my feathers! Looking out the windows today, I love seeing the fall leaves change; the rich colors that flutter to the ground indicate that a new season is coming. This is also true in my life, a new season is coming and this season of change is being thrust upon me. While I didn’t choose this intentionally, I can honestly say that I am eager to invest my talent and passion for education into the precious children that I call my own.
When I look at my professional journey, is has prepared me for this very personal moment. I started as a 6th grade teacher in a classical, Christian school. It was my first interview out of college and I was hooked by the classical caliber, the integration and fun songs, chants and Latin. Five years later, I was pregnant with my first child and wasn’t ready to be a full time stay-at-home mom so I presented an idea to the Head of School and thus entered the second phase of my career. While I was learning to be a mom, I was also writing curriculum and lessons to integrate technology into existing units. I would then put my little one in a pack after school let out and trained teachers how to use their technology as a tool for learning. It felt balanced, it felt rewarding and it blessed our family as it grew to four humans and two dogs.
Then God said, ‘go’. My husband and I sat in a corner booth at the local Mexican restaurant, eating my favorite green salsa, while figuring out what ‘go’ really meant. Next thing I new, I was sharing a power point with my pastor proposing that I start a classical, Christian school in our church’s building. That began a thirteen year journey as founder and Head of School for a classical, Christian school that catered to both full-time and university model students. One of the most rewarding pieces of my job was helping students with learning challenges access services through our local district while receiving a private education and even seeing a few of them through to graduation. Our family now totaled six humans, our youngest was adopted from China and I began a new learning journey in the world of special needs.
I then began working at another classical, Christian school doing the two things I love the most, coaching teachers and playing with curriculum. I love investing in a school where my kids attend and I could be content just with that. But I am filled-up by coaching 25 teachers who impact them on a day to day basis, I get to make curriculum better and am part of a committee shaping the high school that’ll open in the fall. Because of my own experience navigating IEPS and learning needs, I get to partner with parents who have kids with learning challenges and help them learn to access support through the district.
I have journeyed for the last 20+ years through the realms of education in public, private and homeschool partnerships. But today begins an entirely new season, one which I am eager to enter – homeschooling my two youngest kids and taking the front line position of being the primary educator for our son with special needs.
God designs our past to prepare us for our future.Michelle Jones