Monday, 16 September 2013

Sacrifices... are they worthwhile?

As I was expecting, Theodora Papapanagiotou was the first to ask and encourage me to start writing in my blog. I had no doubts. She is always there to urge people and support them. I guess it is in a teacher's nature...

Since I am a teacher and an owner of a language school, she wants to know if I can respond to all responsibilities at the same time. Well... the answer is simple.... No, I can't....Although I want to believe and try, it is impossible for me and I admire those who can meet the expectations. One thing or another must be sacrificed.... We should not forget that teachers are human beings; we have perfections and flaws, our own personalities, family, social and educational background.

I must admit it... at the age of 30s, when I took over the business ( a language school is still a business), I was determined to succeed. I was sure with hard work and responsibility I could make it to the top!!! My priority of course were my students; their studies, their success in the exams, to teach, to support , encourage them. Business came second. I was sure (and still am) that the results of my students will be the best advertisement of my work. But this is not the case... I soon realised that all my colleagues have good results, we all do good work and all our students (and their parents, of course) are pleased with and love us... So, I reached the point to make a decision.... which part should I sacrifice??? Teaching or business???
Well, I had already sacrificed my personal life... I missed my daughter's childhood. When she was at nursery and elementary school, I was at home and when she returned, I had to leave for my lesson. How many times did I have to miss concerts, performances? I couldn't take up an activity or learn a hobby. I am thankful to my family for their understanding and support but still I was not pleased...

Now, at the age of 40s (call it the 40s crisis?), I look at my priorities from another perspective. I have decided to sacrifice the business woman in me. I love teaching, I love sharing knowledge. I know that I contribute to somebody's education, the ever lasting investment. I realised due to the crisis that they can take you everything but they can't take your knowledge and experiences. It is time to devote some time for myself, my own evolution, my family.

I still run my business but it is not my priority. Times are hard and the best we can do is to have a good time in the classroom. I have decided to enjoy the school year with my students. At least, we will have the time of our lives!!! Any more questions???


  1. Unfortunately the role of the working mum is very difficult. We are expected to give up everything and devote ourselves to our family. But what happens to women like you and me who love their jobs and want to make the best of everything? Do the rest of the family members help? Were you expected to take care of everything?
    I believe that we have to set our priorities straight as you said!!! Nice post! I loved reading it!

  2. Dear Georgia,
    I loved reading your post. It's deep and very thought provoking. Now, I am in my 50s. And I feel I have gone through similar moments in life. I also had a language school, 200 students in a little city. My students and their parents were happy and they adored me, as you wrote but looking back I usually refer to that time as "The failure of success". I was not happy with my personal life, I was a teacher. As time went by I took the decision to become a woman who teaches.
    My business came to pieces soon after my daughter was born, but the memories of going to the park twice a day with her are strong. I can't forget our time reading books, drawing together.
    As she started to be more independent, I started working more and more again. There were many times I wanted to give up, I am thankful I haven't.
    My daughter is 27 and she is a psychologist, independent and building a healthy life.
    Now, I am a teacher again, I might be going throughout the empty nest syndrome, but somehow I'd like to become a woman who teaches again. But the passion is strong.
    René Brown, one of my favourite writers, says: "I am convinced we all numb ... Are we using ... to hide or escape from reality of our lives?
    I am divorced and somehow teaching and learning has helped me numb?
    I am so grateful for sharing our thought from the heart. I am so thankful you wrote this post.