I am such a sap and I can finally admit it. Every year, when the school supplies start to roll out and I start seeing the adverts for “Back-To-School,” I get nostalgic and choked up. I miss teaching. Don’t get me wrong. I love my daughters. I love staying home with them. I feel so blessed that we, as a family, can afford to have me stay home with the girls, but that doesn’t make the memories of teaching go away.
It’s said that “those who can’t do, teach,” but I find that statement to be so wrong. Teaching is such an admirable occupation that people just take for granted. So, you might be thinking, “Well, CCM, if you love teaching so much, why don’t you just homeschool your kids?” Here’s the thing… I was a HIGH SCHOOL teacher. That was my niche, that was where I shined. I loved interacting with my students. I taught at a school in Chicago that had a lot going against it: high levels of immigrants/ refugees, poor reading skills, even poorer math skills, rough home lives, etc, etc. The area as a whole wasn’t too bad as far as crime went, but that’s not to say that there wasn’t gang presence. (Actually, one very memorable student from my first year teaching was a ‘high-ranking’ gang leader… and one of the sweetest, hard-working boys that you would have ever met. I often think about him and pray for him.) For those kids, like it or not, their teachers were the role-models that their parents might not have been. Could you imagine being a first-year teacher having that on your plate?
I just wish that I had the chance to teach a bit longer. We found out about the transfer to STL not long after having The Bear in Chicago and it seems as if I left the occupation before I really got it going. And it’s really funny, because teaching is such a volatile profession right now… if you aren’t providing the scores or the proof that you are an effective teacher, you are out of there. School districts are cutting classes left and right. More parents are turning to homeschooling options because they are losing faith in what schools can provide right now. I’ll admit that this is the liberal, hippie side of me coming out a bit here, but I just wonder what our country could be if we spent as much on education as we do on National Defense? But I guess National Defense affects the whole country and education… doesn’t?
So why don’t I go back to teaching right now? Because I am needed at home. I teach my children every day. Sure, it’s not complex chemical equations or estimating the trajectories of blood spatter but I am still a teacher. I teach language, grammar, math, reading, science, etc. Sure, I don’t get AS dressed up, nor do I have chalk and marker on my hands, but I am still a teacher. Right?
Oh, well. So, if you see me and I seem a bit melancholic, it’s just because of the new school year. And how I am watching from the sidelines. Ask me how I feel in October!