SOL: Practical or Brave?

During my maternity leave in 2019, I was hooked on the show “Jane the Virgin.” I loved it so much that I just started rewatching it while on my second round of maternity leave. If you’re unfamiliar with the show, in short, Jane becomes accidentally inseminated by the obgyn who should’ve been performing a well woman exam. It’s an adorably unique show.

Anyway, there’s a scene in one of the first episodes where Jane is asked what she wants to be in life.

Jane: “Am I practical or brave?”
Rafael: “Practical.”
Jane: “I’m a teacher.”
Rafael: “Brave.”
Jane: “I’m a writer. I have never said that out loud before.”
Rafael: “Be brave.”

The dreamy part of me instantly related. I think about how I’ve grown as a writer in the last year and a half alone, the risks I’ve taken, the vulnerability I’ve embraced. I blog on Tuesdays and actually click ‘publish!’ I draft poems and actually click ‘comment!’

Identifying as a writer was monumental for me – it still is a daily choice to believe and proclaim this confidently. It is brave to say “I am a writer” out loud.

Another piece of me, though, was a little offended. Walking into a classroom full of 14- and 15- year-olds as a 22-year-old armed only with skimpy teacher training is pretty damn brave.

Teaching is my calling. Teaching was my practical choice because it was all I ever wanted and imagined for myself. However, the thousands of decisions I make in the classroom, and the ways in which I have resisted then welcomed then embraced personal growth? BRAVE.

8 thoughts on “SOL: Practical or Brave?

  1. arjeha says:

    Brave is certainly a word that fits all teachers because we never know what situations we will face each day we enter our classroom. As far as calling myself a writer, this is not something I ever dreamed I would do until I took part in a summer writing institute in 2000. Slice of Life keeps me writing. A whole new world has opened up because of it.


  2. margaretsmn says:

    Hey Britt,
    Did I meet your brave self on a zoom call on Sunday? So happy to have met you and see you here on SOL. Teaching is brave and so is writing and proclaiming to be a writer. Here’s to you growing more brave day by day!


  3. Denise Krebs says:

    Yes! Perhaps it’s the brave and practical choice. It was fun being a teacher with my own children growing up around me. I taught in their school for five years during their elementary years. It was lots of fun. We walked to school together. They watched TV in my room while I worked after school for an hour or two. (We didn’t have a TV at home, so it was a treat.) It was a practical choice, but also the hardest job on earth, I believe. For the brave. Beautiful, Britt! And you are a writer, as well. Nice!


  4. Tracy Vogelgesang says:

    Teaching and writing are brave acts, for sure! Every day that we show up to our classrooms or the page we are summoning our courage and putting ourselves out there. For myself, I know that only with bravery can I make the positive impact I hope to make through my teaching and my writing. I am glad that you are brave, Britt. I am sure your students feel that way, too!


  5. theapplesinmyorchard says:

    I can so relate to this. I was formally trained as a nurse. But, I felt teaching was always my calling. I taught nursing even. I then stopped being a nurse but that is still what I told people I was when they asked. Finally, a few years ago, I was able to say “I am a teacher” when I finished my EE Master’s degree. Now, I am writing so much, I identify as a writer. In 2019, I presented on writing nature haiku to 6-8th graders. At the end of the presentation, one of the teachers asked me, so are you a scientist, a teacher, or both? Proudly, I said with a smile,
    “well, I think I am both!” And, so I am! You are wonderful and brave! I’m sure your students love you!


  6. JenniferM says:

    Teaching and writing are both brave! I love this post. While I’ve always felt like a writer, I know so many students and colleagues who don’t, and I love watching them discover that they can be! Yay for you! 🙂


  7. cvarsalona says:

    Brave is a beautiful word that helps us grow past our comfort zone, Britt. The premise of the show you watch sounds like I would enjoy it. I actually started my teaching career, young like you. I taught high school students who were not allowed to be in the regular high school building. They were quite a crew. I like the thought that you are brave, a teacher, and a writer.


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