I have this love/hate relationship with my vocation as teacher. Most days my prayers sound like this: Oh God, what am I to do today? And then I go in and love my students.
Other days it’s a lament: Oh gawd, what am I to do today? And then I go in and love my students, but I don’t have to like them, right?
I entered this field kicking and screaming, and have been in various levels of denial ever since. Still, if you met me at a party and asked me what I do, teacher would roll off my tongue pretty naturally.
I do other things…important things…things that give my life meaning. Anchor me. Keep me sane. They probably make me a better teacher when all is said and done.
But nothing, nothing, makes me crazy like teaching. I’ve tried to walk away from it three times, and failed. I can laugh a little now and say I’m like St. Peter…denying this about myself before finally seeing the truth.
It’s easy to love teaching when I love it. But here’s the wild part: I still love it when I’m busy hating it.
I’m too drawn to the people, the students, to really walk away. I’d miss too many opportunities to meet people like Miss Ethel and Miss Warnell (they gave me permission for this picture!). They’ve been best friends since before I was born. They’ve raised their kids and their grand kids, and now, they’re in school pursuing their dreams of college.
How could I walk away from smiles like these?