I have spent the past 8 wonderful years as a teacher, but not in a traditional classroom. My students and I played with food as we learned to create delicious dishes, help the less fortunate and make good choices for our planet. The fish we worked with were edible. And we cooked them (perhaps with a Finding Nemo theme…).
But now, there is a fish on my desk. And he is certainly not of the edible variety. My students are vying for the right to name him and enjoy asking me on a daily basis if the reason he isn’t moving is because he has expired. Clearly, I am no longer spending my days in the kitchen. So, where have I gone? Why have I not posted in several weeks?
I have returned to the classroom to teach high school biology. It’s how I earned my teaching chops 15 years ago, before I had children. And the opportunity arose for me to go back…and I took it!
Yes, I was one of the lucky few to publish a book. (And I hate to shatter your impression of authors, but that does not automatically make me a financially successful businesswoman.) And yes, I was honored with an invitation to the White House for my work with kids in the kitchen. But no, it didn’t mean that I was able to easily meet the financial obligations of our family. Thank goodness, my husband’s job can support us. But our son has some special needs and we were starting to get spread pretty thin. I needed more financial security and was yearning for more consistent work. I tend to be an over-achiever and didn’t like wondering when the next paying event would occur.
So, I am back in the classroom. And I am loving it. The past 11 years as a mom has made me a better teacher, and time has mellowed me out. I think my teaching will be better for it. In the meantime, I don’t plan to ditch the past 8 years of work. You’d better believe that I plan to include food and cooking in my teaching. What better way to teach my students what they are made of and how it affects their bodies? And my work on school lunch reform? I now have 160 students a day that can share their feedback and suggestions.
I’ll miss you, but I’m still around. I’m not gone. I’m teaching. And I’ll share when I can.