Naomi Rubinstein’s Life Lessons
North Potomac's Naomi Rubinstein says her teaching experience helps guide the parenting of her two young sons.
In 2005, Naomi Rubinstein was 27 years old and eager to begin her new life as a fourth-grade teacher in Potomac.
She had left a grueling 80- to 90-hour-a-week job as a financial analyst in New York City, and over the course of the 2005-2006 school year, Bethesda Magazine followed her as she got her bearings at Potomac Elementary. It was a challenging time, but she slowly gained control of her classroom, earning a promotion to fourth-grade team leader and serving as a mentor to others at the start of their careers.
It seemed that Rubinstein had found her calling.
But life has a way of throwing a curveball just when we think our course is complete. By the end of that year, the young teacher was pregnant. She planned to go on maternity leave in January 2007. However, that November she went into preterm labor, and her first full year of teaching ended up being her last.
Now 34 and a stay-at-home mom in North Potomac, Rubinstein has two young boys with her husband of nine years, Jordan Rubinstein. “To me, it’s the best job in the entire world,” she says. “I couldn’t imagine doing anything else right now.”
Eventually she’d like to re-enter the workforce, but she doesn’t necessarily want to return to teaching. “I’m just not sure if the classroom is going to be where I feel that I can do the most good at this time,” she says.
Instead, Rubinstein envisions working one-on-one with families of special-needs children. One of her family members has special needs, she says, though she declines to elaborate.
Looking back on her year as a teacher, Rubinstein wishes she had done some things differently. “I was very, very structured in the way that I taught,” she says. “I think that I didn’t give my kids enough opportunities to get their sillies out.”
That said, Rubinstein did learn valuable skills that year that she applies to her own children. “In my class, I was all about pointing out all the wonderful things my kids did and not pointing out the things that they needed support with,” she says. “I do that all the time at home.”