Frank over at PCGuyIV asks:
“When you were in grade school, what did you want to be when you grew up? Were you right, or did you end up doing something else?”
This is an easy one for me. My home life was always filled with chaos as a child. School was my safe heaven. I respected and cared for my teachers. By second grade, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I would line up my stuffed animals and play “school” almost every day. I would teach my furry students how to read. I would encourage them when they did well. I would draw stars on their homework. This was my way to bring safety home.
In fourth grade I had a male teacher for the first time. He was a kind man. It was good for me to experience a man as a gentle adult figure. In fifth grade I also had a male teacher. He was an odd duck, but I remember thinking that if he could be a teacher, so could I.
In sixth grade I had yet another male teacher. That man cemented my decision to be a teacher. He was kind to everyone. He read to us daily after lunch. We all knew he cared about us. When I was in the hospital with a ruptured appendicitis, he had the class make me cards as their art project each week. I felt like I was not forgotten. When I finally returned home, he visited me. (Something bio-dad never did.) I had missed so many days from my surgery that I should have had to repeat 6th grade. My teacher came and tutored me to make sure that didn’t happen.
It was in sixth grade that I also was officially given the job of tutoring younger students. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I knew I wanted this as my career. I continued tutoring in later grades also.
After getting married very young, I knew getting my teaching degree would be a challenge. Between raising kids, at home sales jobs, etc. there wasn’t lots of spare time. I kept at it though. It was not easy.
When my kids started school, I started teaching at a private school. I did not have my credential at the time. It was not required for private school. I wanted the job to be sure my career choice was still my dream. I loved the three years in private school teaching. I made the tough decision to quit my job so I could go to school full time. .I knew that if I loved this job for 5 dollars an hour, it would be a dream to make a real salary.
It was a very hard time for a little over a year. I took tons of classes and worked my tail off. I was still mom, room mom at my kid’s school, Brownie troop leader, and Sunday school teacher. One good thing was that I lost a ton of weight.
As soon as I finished my student teaching and credential classes, I started interviewing for a job. The pendulum was swinging with too many teachers at the time. Luckily, I was offered three jobs. I was thrilled with the opportunity to do what I had always dreamed of doing.
After 35 years, I retired. I lived the academic life I always wanted.