Life Lessons: Educator’s Edition…
Kara Bacon

Welcome to a special edition of Good Enough Mother Life Lessons! With school well underway in most parts of the country, we thought it would be great to devote some time and space to the people who are so good to our kids.. educators! Hope you enjoy these special Life Lessons and happy school year to teacher, students AND their parents!

Are you happy at the moment?

I recently experienced bringing my oldest child to college, which brings all sorts of crazy emotions of joy and heartache simultaneously. Yet in the end it leaves me proudly happy to know we brought him to the stage in his life where he can leave the nest with confidence. He also did his first load of laundry and nothing changed colors!

If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?

Never use a credit card unless you can pay off the balance that same month.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?

As cancer crept into our lives this spring, I learned not to let it define who we are and to soak in every precious minute of the day. It’s a bit of a cliche, but painfully true.

What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?

Hidden throughout my house are boxes and bags filled with memories, photos, and trinkets that are simply collecting dust; it is time to sort and organize and actually do something with all those wonderful treasures. Isn’t that why I’m “researching” on Pinterest all the time?

What’s your secret to happiness?

Laughter. When I think of the best moments of my life, they always include those “deep in my belly laughs that brought me to tears.”

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?

Family dinners are the backbone of our family. Even through crazy schedules, we still really work at finding the time for us all to sit together at the table to catch up and, of course, laugh.

What’s your biggest regret?

Usually whatever I ate an hour ago.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?

Little acts can make big differences such as offering to return the shopping cart for an elderly person, running through a crowd to catch up with a family to give a child a toy that was left behind, waiting a moment to hold a door open for someone with his/her hands full, etc.

What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?

Open the mail on a daily basis and don’t leave it in a pile on the kitchen island. Seriously, though, I need to stop comparing myself to others. A dear friend once told me that comparison is often the root of much unhappiness, and how true is that observation.

Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?

I am entering my 27th year of teaching and am still truly delighted when former students say hello. From the students who stop by the first days of school to tell me all about their summer adventures to the ones who simply wave as we meet in the halls to the ones I haven’t seen in years but who take the time to re-introduce themselves to me, it always leaves me feeling like I’ve made a positive difference that they still value having me in their lives.

When were you happiest?

In November 2007, I became selected to be part of Disney Parks Mom Panel and was able to open a door to a passion of mine that has lead to incredible opportunities doing something I love and a chance to meet equally wonderful people. It really led me to believe that I had found my glass slipper that fit perfectly.

What ten words best describe you?

Laughter. Coffee. Disney. Muggle. Organizedchaos. Target. Family. Reader. Positive. Cupcakes.

What is the best way parents can help you in the coming year?

Keep reading with your children. While you may no longer read TO them, you can still read WITH them. Books provide so many opportunities to talk and explore topics and experiences; they can really open the door to conversations, especially with teenagers.

Kara Bacon has been teaching for 27 years in the district where her husband has also taught for 31 years. While she has taught a variety of classes and subjects, she is currently teaching middle school reading.