Stacey is a driven, enthusiastic, passionate leader who strives to make whatever school site she is at, one that exemplifies a positive learning environment. While she aspires to be a Disney princess, she has settled for the amazing position of elementary teacher. She holds a bachelor degree in elementary education and a masters degree in educational leadership. When she isn’t teaching she loves to travel, have Netflix marathons and is hoping to read more now that she is done with her masters . . .and cut down on Netflix.
This article is written to those “go-getters”, those who have been told that they “have it all together” or those who have been called a “perfectionist”. I have had all those words used to describe me and I consider them a blessing a curse. Who doesn’t want to be perfect, or have it all together? I am proud of being someone who wants the best from myself, but I’ve learned that sometimes what I think is “the best” and what I can give are two different things. College was the first time I began to learn that lesson. That is that, perfect is not possible and often, much more often, there is more to life than perfect grades. College is an opportunity to learn about ourselves, those around us and the world around us.
My personal and professional life seems to be centered on school. I have a bachelors and masters degree in education and teach full time. When I’m not at school, I’m still thinking about lessons and my students. Education is part of who I am. I love it and seek after it. However, it’s taken me years to realize that there is more to life than actually being in school. Education extends far beyond academics, it is something that we cannot and should not ever escape. Constantly seeking to learn, whether it’s professionally, academically or in our personal lives, will always be fulfilling and provide new opportunities.
While in college I received a fantastic formal academic education in order to qualify me for my career. I was a very academically driven student, and upon entering college I was focused, almost to a fault, on doing well academically. In my mind, anything less than an ‘A’ wasn’t good enough. How wrong I was. There is so much more to life than grades. Anyone who knows me and is reading this is probably laughing, because I am still very much focused on grades, but I have made great progress from my perfectionist ways. Just as I tell my students, their parents and administration, “Look at how much they’ve grown!”, the same goes for those in school as adults. If you are making forward progress and learning from past mistakes, then your education and college experience is a success and can continue to be.
Perhaps just as important as academic lessons, I also learned life lessons that can only be learned while living on my own for the first time. Lessons that range from practical living, such as, you can’t put regular liquid soap into a dishwasher, to how to better independently live my life in my religious, social and emotional settings. I continue to learn these lessons in life today, but college is where my personal foundation started. So, while academics are vitally important, don’t forget that college is so much more than a degree, it is an opportunity to learn invaluable life lessons, and those opportunities often can pass us by. As Ferris Bueller, from the popular 1980’s movie “Ferris Bullers Day Off”, once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” Don’t become so focused on academics that you miss those life opportunities around you; in short don’t forget to live while in college too.