Updated: Nov 9, 2021
As a very shy, overweight, glasses-wearing 6th grader, I had to face the fear of standing up in class to share with the students what I wanted to be when I grew up. I hated and feared ANY attention that cast a spotlight upon me. I was terrified to speak in class unless I was 100% confident in what was going to come out of my mouth. But I had this! I had KNOWN the answer to this question my entire life.
I remember the crisp feel of my light blue dress on my skin as I stood up said, in a rather bold voice, “I am Deann and I am going to be a teacher.” And then, there was a moment of silence that felt like a series of excruciatingly long minutes. My teacher, a rough no-nonsense ex-marine whom I shall call Mr. Dreampopper, said, “Oh, that’s too bad. There won’t be any jobs available by the time you finish your degree. Okay Eric, you’re Next . . . “
I sat down with a thud. I was crushed. My happy, bright dream-balloon deflated into a heaping mess. I didn’t question what he said. I believed in his wisdom and knowledge because he was in the profession that I so admired and respected. A teacher would not tell me something like this if it weren’t true. So, at 1:45 pm on this Friday in March, my motivation and enthusiasm to become a teacher was put on a shelf to collect layers upon layers of dust.
I always knew I’d go to college and I graduated high school as one of the top 2% in California and I had scholarship opportunities, but I didn’t have any real focus. I had no true desire, direction, nor motivation. Mom always told me -- "words have power" and I had allowed Mr. Dreampopper's words to not only influence my future, but to completely shift the direction I was heading.
Fortunately I fell into a career I loved in higher education, but NOT as a teacher. I was more administrative. I managed a College Career Center, facilitated “what’s your major” activities, and lead a team of highly respected professionals and teachers who touched the lives of undecided students. I realize now that I created a career that supported students in identifying their dreams, opened doors to opportunities, facilitated self-awareness of their strengths, values, and interests, while providing them with the tools to make informed and considered decisions. Our team was aware that our words had influence and to not make off-hand comments that might be taken more seriously than we intended. As Mom said, "words have power."
About five years into my career in higher-ed I started teaching spiritual development and metaphysical studies after work and enjoyed it immensely, but never thought I'd make a career of this. Eventually my “real job” required 60+ hours a week developing measurable learning outcomes, writing grant proposals, incorporating our services into the community, and navigating leadership tasks. This coordinator position dominated my time so I let the “teaching” slide.
Less than one month after I retired I came across the most amazing people who supported teaching your gift and they opened my eyes to future possibilities which have now joyfully changed my world. That deflated balloon deep inside me was once again filled with light and motivation and inspiration. So I am now launching my passion project, developing courses, providing spiritual development services, and connecting with truly wonderful people.
I am Deann and I am a Teacher.