Thursday, May 04, 2006

Being a Teacher...

Ya know, I know I complain a lot but I wouldn't change being a teacher for anything.

First of all, I have this nice cushy job that is inside. I remember my dad, an IBEW telephone repairman (and oh so much more after doing it for thirty years), "Matt, you do not want to do what I do. You don't want to be out in the freezing cold and the sweating heat all year long. Get a job inside. Use your head."

That stuck with me more than I ever understood. I would get good grades simply because it was the thing to do. School was my job and I was good at it. I could get good grades without even really trying. It all worked toward college and a comfy job.

Second, I have the greatest job security I could think of. If worse came to worse, I am guaranteed a job for the whole year of a contract. Once I make tenure, I'm golden. There are not many positions that can say that.

I get to hang out with some pretty cool kids most of the time. Yeah, I know I complain about that 10% or less, but we all do in life, don't we? There's always that one thing that nags at you, even if we were all rich billionaires. Garth Brooks pretty much printed money with his albums but he still felt the need to produce that one album under the name of Chris Gaines. Prince changed his name to that symbol to piss off his record company. Professional athletes, like A-Rod, make a mint already but still want more. However, most of the kids that I see every single day I genuinely like. And I look back at my handful of teaching years already and know that I truly miss some of the kids. Every once in a while, I get an email from one of them and it just brightens up my day to no end.

For instance, Io, from last year in Bremerton, sent me a little e-card for Madison's birthday, after I posted on my blog here. That was awesome. Just to hear from her, just to say, "Hi."

My presence matters. It is a moment like that that further reminds me of the movie "It's a Wonderful Life." These are such little things but they matter so much. I get through to a majority. I really do.

Teaching is great. And I am so flippin' excited for next year! Shakespeare again!! Books and lit circles, and some writing with it.

When the bad stuff evaporates, we are left with some spectacular results. I think the complaining helps us boil the bad stuff away. It's therapeutic, in a way.

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