Two days before school started in the fall of 2005, the high school principal got the official word that one of the foods education teachers was not coming back. After a bit of schedule shuffling, all but two of the abandoned classes were covered by existing teachers. The two classes that remained were intro-level Foods Education classes. Both full with freshmen looking for an easy way to fill their schedules.
A few phone calls later, the principal decided his best option was to wander down to the theater where the auditorium director was setting up for new-teacher orientation sessions.
“Rachel,” he said to the auditorium director. “Would you be willing to teach freshmen how to cook this year?”
Now, Rachel did not have a degree in education, and outside of teaching a couple of high-school kids how to run a sound board and three summers of camp counseling, she really had very little experience with teenagers. But, always up for learning something new, she said yes.
She sat through new teacher orientation, now as a new teacher instead of as auditorium support staff. She filled out a boatload of district paperwork. She worked diligently with the two other teachers in the department to clean up the lesson plans from the previous year. She took home the intro to foods text book and started studying (and learning how to cook.) Two days later her first class walked in, sat down at their desks, and Rachel started to teach.
A week before the school year ended, the principal again sought her out and asked if she’d be interested in working as a long term substitute and if there was anything the school district could do to convince her to go back to school and get her teaching degree.
By the end of the year, she met 80 kids and their families. She learned an incredible amount about effective communication, organization, and of course, cooking. Best of all, she could add “high school teacher” to her resume.
I've had a handful of jobs since this adventure with the high school, but none illustrate quite as well my need to continue challenging myself. My need to always be learning something new. Or my desire to teach what I've learned to others.
That's why I became a wellness writer. With every project, I not only get to help an organization grow, but I get to spread their message and their passion to their customers.
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I was raised in a family where healthy habits were the norm. I didn't realize there were other ways to live until much later in life. I'm thankful for that now. I have dogs, kids, gardens (vegetable and flower), and more hobbies than I have time for.