iTeach….And boy, do iLove what I do.

I’ve been in my current position with Kennesaw State University’s iTeach for a little over a year now. Whenever I run into someone I know from my time in education, he/she will undoubtedly ask how I’m enjoying my job. Typically, they all get the same answer from me. “I love it!” “I love that there’s flexibility and I can finally see my kids before school.” “ My team is incredible and I love working with them.” While those are all very true and common answers I tend to give, I also leave out an essential reason why I genuinely love what I do.

When I walked away from the day-to-day of the classroom, I knew I’d be leaving being a slew of things that I didn’t enjoy — grading papers, cleaning up garbage strewn throughout the room, etc. What I also walked away from were the relationships I might form with students and parents. Every teacher will tell you that something they always love about teaching is the connections they make with their students, and, in many cases, with the parents of those students.

My new role with KSU iTeach allows me to serve as the lead coach for Fulton County’s Vanguard Team, an elite group of educators coaching and supporting teachers within their schools to incorporate instructional technology and personalize learning for all students. While much of my position is simply managing the group — sending emails, answering emails, updating websites, coordinating events- it also involves face-to-face meetings and connections with other educators: my new “students.”

It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, it’s magical for me. I get to brainstorm, model, support, encourage, plan, teach, discuss and so much more with nearly 400 members from this insanely incredible team. And sometimes, I get emails with lines like this.

“The three of you helped give me purpose, and I’m not sure what else to say other than thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”

Or this…

Thank you for all you do. You inspire, and the Vanguardians inspire me on a daily basis. You have truly made me a better teacher.

And in those two snippets is why iLove what I do. Because sometimes, sometimes, all of the hard work, effort, energy, love, sweat, and tears comes back to you in the form of short emails with just enough encouragement to make yet another day worth every ounce of passion I will put into it.

Whatever it is, make sure uLove what you do. There isn’t another way to go about life.