hey you

yes, you... it's me, from your future

i wanted to take a minute out of my busy day to assure you that we made it. i am exactly where you have been dreaming about for years. i have my classroom. it's decorated in colorful Christmas lights and soft lamps, never an overly fluorescent beam tantalizing the kids' creativity. i arranged the desks in a horseshoe shape to the class always feels like an open, safe environment where discussion and debate is encouraged. there's a little book nook in the corner with bean bag chairs and cozy blankets where students can go relax anytime they feel stressed or overwhelmed, or just want a nice place to do homework or chat with their friends. the walls are decorated with inspiring quotes from people of the past, pictures of our world travels, and exceptionable work from the students. although most our time is spent in discussion in the middle of the horseshoe, our desk is equipped with a mac book computer, thick planner, color coded lesson binders, all the pens and highlighters a girl could ever dream of, and a great, supportive, desk chair. behind it lays a bin with everything our students could ever need; snacks, water bottles, band aids, fidget toys, stress balls, notebook paper, pencils, feminine products, and so much more.
the beginning of each class period begins with an opener, meaning a question displayed on the board that engages your mind to get some work done. in my class, we have questions related to the content learned the previous day every day besides Wednesdays which are dedicated to woman's history and education, and fun Fridays where we learn a fun historical fact or ask a question that dives us into a deep philosophical talk. the kids love it!_
my classroom, although very flexible and fun, is also quite procedural and organized. the kids know to head their papers the way i want them headed or else they will get 5 points off. they know to label all their hand outs in the order that i give to them so they can stay organized. they know the majority of class time will be taking notes off the power points i create for each unit (also color coded for further organizational purposes) and they know every assignment they do, i also do so they understand the workload is nothing they cannot handle and i will always be there to help them no matter what the problem is!
the day before a test, when my brilliant kids are at their most stressed, i dress up as a person of the time period we are testing over to remind them of how fun and exciting history is! we also play competitive review games like pictohistory, jeopardy, kahoot, and guess who! the goal is to win and score extra points! this helps ease their minds but keeps them motivated to learn.
and probably my favorite part of being a teacher is how i have the incredible opportunity to take my kids to see the history i teach in real life. every summer, i take any students who wish to join me on a journey to somewhere with rich history and culture. my first year teaching, we went to greece, which was so surreal for me since our very first international experience was in greece with a teacher whom we loved dearly. last year we went to japan, the year before we traveled around western europe, and this summer we will be participating in a service learning trip to india. we have 10 students so far, i cannot wait to see how much more it grows.
but my life isn't work alone, although it is the vast majority of it. i also have a personal life, contrary to the popular belief of my students. i have a popular lifestyle blog documenting my journey to improved mental and physical health. i do this through exploring yoga, running, and dancing. often i will choreograph high energy dances to popular songs and post them so the people who follow my blog can get their blood pumping with me. I actually also teach dance fitness classes at the local gym. my blog also shares my grocery lists, recopies, and meal plans for my vitamin and protein rich diet that improves my heart health, arthritis, and immune system. i also share my struggles with ocd and anxiety, and try to show people that they are not alone in their issues and share with them my strategies to relieve the stress of mental disorders and what i'm doing to combat the sickness!
it is also a way for me to share my love for fashion and beauty! i post outfit of the days, my skincare routines, makeup products i've been loving, and so much more! who says teachers can't be stylish?
i have been working on publishing my freest novel for a few years now. i have so many ideas and such little time to write! my students inspire me more and more every day, and at this rate, i think i should be a published author before the end of the year. my goal is to share with readers what it's really like to be a teenager in this crazy world and bring awareness to some issues too far in the dark (suicide, mental health, ocd, lgbtq+, immigration, etc.)
i don't go through all this alone! i have a wonderful husband who supports me through it all! we got married 2 years ago, a beautiful little ceremony on a rooftop in atlanta. i wore a long sleeve satin ball gown and danced all night long to slow, jazzy old music. he wakes me every morning with coffee and kisses, and i send him to sleep every night with long back rubs and stories. we live in a modern but industrial apartment outside Atlanta with my old black cat, and his 3 legged great dane, champion. we spend our time together cooking, snuggling on the balcony just talking and listening to music or each others stories, going to art shows or political conferences downtown, traveling around the world, or having dinner and spending time with my family.
_ i could not have asked for a better life. stop stressing little one, you will get there soon. for now, just enjoy your crazy teenage years. you will regret it if you don't once you watch your students go through the same things you did or never did but wished you would've. put down your phone and indulge in your surroundings. try something new. take a chance on that boy. read more books. write more creatively. listen to your family and friends and appreciate what you have before it's gone._

love,
you, ten years in the future