It’s a decision I’ve struggled with for years. Yes…you read that right…years. To be honest though it wasn’t really myself that struggled with the decision, it was learning to accept that it was ok to do what I felt was the right thing to do despite having no support from my friends or family. The decision, was to become a teacher.
I’ve known since early high school that I wanted to be a teacher but every time I ever mentioned it to anyone in my family or any of my friends I always heard the same replies. (side note: This was all before I met my husband. My husband has always encouraged me. He’s amazing like that!)
“You can do so much better than that!”
“They don’t make enough money.”
“You won’t feel fulfilled.”
It always irritated me. Who is anyone else to tell me that I can “do so much better” than teach? If you ask me, there is nothing better than teaching. It might not be a dream career for them but it is for me. A career in microbiology isn’t a dream to me but it is to other people. We all dream to accomplish different things and people need to accept that. We also don’t all put the same emphasis on wealth and money. I only want to make enough money to pay my bills and live happily. I can live happily on a teacher’s salary. I probably won’t be vacationing in Prague every year but that’s ok with me. I’ll be taking adventures through time every year visiting the 1776 and 1812 and 1929 and…
Gosh…I love the 1920’s! I would have been a flapper if I could have been. I would have loved it! The 1920’s are most certainly, without a doubt, my favorite era in American history. At least, up until 1929 and then the stock market crashed and the Great Depression happened and then World War 2 in 1939. I’m glad I avoided all of that. Also true that World War 1 lasted until 1918 so in order to have loved the 1920’s I would have had to have endured World War 1 and then survived the Great Depression and seen World War 2. I suppose I’m happy I didn’t have to go through all of that. Although, to be honest, I have seen the Gulf War and the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks and the “War on Terror” the chase (and ultimate death) of Osama Bin Laden and the Great Recession so I suppose it’s not all that different except that while we had grunge and mosh pits in the 90’s they had jazz and flappers in the 20’s. I do love the 20’s! The Great Gatsby and prohibition and Ellis Island and…well…I guess it’s just a period in time that speaks to me. I love it!
Plus, who else has the right to tell me what will make me “feel fulfilled.” I think that I know me better than anyone else knows me so wouldn’t I know best what would make me feel fufilled in life? Of course I would. Plus, over the last few days there have been all kind of little occurances that have only reinforced my desire to teach.
1) My husband’s mother made an observation about me and the books I like to read. She observed that I don’t read for “an escape” from reality; instead, I read to entrench myself in past reality and learn. Some of my favorite books of late have been biographies or memories or historical books. “The Man Who Thought Like a Ship” by Loren Steffy about his father, Dick Steffy, who was the first nautical archaeologist was incredibly fascinating. I’m about to start another book about Ulysses S. Grant. I also recently read a book by Andrew Carroll called “War Letters” which was amazing and emotional but beautiful. I like to learn (see also my previous post: Major Head Expansion)
2) I attended a training conference at work all day yesterday and it was most excited I’ve been about work in months. Why? I was learning something new, of course! I lapped it up like a dehydrated puppy. It was exciting for me because it was something new. My brain was getting bigger and stronger and I loved it. There were people in the class with me that were bored, yawning, or hungry and there I was paying close attention to every single word so I didn’t miss even the minutest of details.
3) Why did I pay such close attention to that seminar? Well, it’s because my next assignment is to teach everyone else the same things that I just learned. Do you see how that works? I learn something…then I teach everyone else. It’s what I do best and it’s easily my favorite part about my job. Teaching and talking and instructing and guiding others toward a better education, it’s simply what I love to do.
School starts back in two months and I’m so ready!