Every teacher knows that you don't sleep the night before the first day of school. When I was a high school Spanish teacher, I learned that to be very true.
As if we're students, attending a new school for the first time, we're nervous. Am I prepared? What if they don't like me?
And, since I started teaching at age 22, I also wondered if they would take me seriously. If they would listen. If I could be a teacher first and friend second. Or if I should maybe never be a friend? But I wanted to be a friend. The struggle was real.
Although I'm not a teacher anymore, I still get those nervous feelings every year before I teach 20 high-school aged girls to make jewelry at the annual Girls for a Change conference by Thrive.
This year was my third year teaching this course and although I still get a little nervous, the girls are always so fun and so sweet. I love seeing their personalities and quirks.
Some girls are perfectionists, wanting every letter and number to be straight.
Other girls are accepting of the imperfections of their work, preferring instead to finish up so they could chat with their friends.
And every single one was so sweet, so welcoming to girls that they didn't know, and so eager to share. And every single one of them thanked me for teaching the class.
I've never had anything to be nervous about.
The conference is sponsored by Thrive. Thrive is a local nonprofit that serves children and families so they can all contribute to a healthy, thriving community. Through a variety of programs, they've been helping kids and families since 1986.
At the Girls For A Change conference, over 200 high school-aged young women come together for a full day of workshops. They get to choose their own schedule, selecting from over 30 different presentations. From self-defense and screen printing, to meditation, coding, and Bollywood dancing, these young ladies have opportunities to explore that made me jealous! And, at only $25 per girl, with scholarships available, the price makes it approachable for every young woman who wants to explore something new and make new friends in the process.