I have only six years of teaching under my belt which includes kindergarten, first, fourth, and fifth grade, as well as teaching ESL for kids kindergarten through eighth grade. I have tutored kids in the public and private sector. I have been a substitute teacher and requested for assignments by teachers and administrators alike.
Years ago I came to the sad conclusion that I could not hold down a full-time job, not without a full-time spouse living with me to help me with the kids when they are ill. And even if I was able to find a job, I would continue to be at the bottom of list of seniority and no matter how many hours I invested with my students and their parents, no matter how many homemade flashcards I made, no matter how many practice assignments and tests were downloaded, I would still be pinkslipped first. Let go of first.
This past school year I have realized that I actually like working with teenagers. They aren’t so bad individually and in small groups. Even in a large classroom of thirty-five, teenagers are still manageable.
I have also realized that I miss being in a school setting, not as a teacher but as a student. My niece, that lucky bastard, has been awarded her doctorate in education. Her sister is on her way to getting hers as well. A friend of mine recently told me she was finally getting her doctorate, a dream she’s always had but only now is finally in a place to begin. She, too, is a lucky bastard.
Do I really want a doctorate too? Yes. I think I will always want to rise to the challenge and begin that path. I will when the kids are older, when we’ve settled into our future. When I get offered a job with a doctoral requirement, I want to accept it without regard to the location.
But not right now. There are so many hopes and goals I have that I just can’t reach for right now. I understand and grudgingly accept this.
However, I can take a class that will allow me to be credentialed to teach at the middle and high school levels. Just one class and online this summer too. Then I can buy cute pens for spiral notebooks to take notes on say, biology and chemistry, and take the tests in the fall.
This I can do.
I have finally realized that I love teaching for the teaching. It does not matter the age of the students or the subject matter, whether it is for our church’s version of Sunday school, high school algebra, or the gold rush.
Teaching is an art. A delicate art that constantly changes. You can give someone paint and a brush. Most people might complain about the color choices, the size of the canvas, the quality of the brushes. Some might even be able to paint a pretty picture. But an educator, a true teacher, will be grateful for her supplies, will constantly step back and look at the bigger picture, and make the best of what she’s got.
BTW, the boy M went on a field trip to a gold mining town yesterday. He told Chuck Norris jokes the entire time according to three moms who chaperoned the trip. His teacher even said that she now knows everything there is to know about Chuck Norris. That’s nice.