If I ever question the fact that everyone has a calling and not everyone is meant to do certain things — I look at teachers. I have known a lot of people in my lifetime that would have made terrible teachers, myself included. Teachers are different in so many ways, and that they choose to follow the calling they feel to teach children? I’ve always admired that about teachers.
But here’s the thing, you can only admire someone for so long before you start feeling insecure about all the things they are better at than you.
Whenever I meet a new teacher I instantly feel like I’m the one in elementary school again. “Do they like me? I wonder if they think I’m doing a good job?” I start seeking their approval, and I’m not even the student. I can still remember the teachers I loved the most, and I remember them fondly. Generations of kids have been made better by teachers and they continue on, doing what they do with very little pay and perhaps very little thanks. If I ever thought motherhood was thankless, times it by 20-30 kids and parents a year, every year for three decades.
Suddenly my gig keeping two kids alive for 18 years doesn’t seem so bad.
In honor of World Teacher’s Day this Saturday and with all the appreciation I have for teachers, I thought I’d share a few of the ways their greatness leaves me feeling inadequate as a human being:
They Deal with Kids 1 of 9
Teachers went to school with the intention of spending most of their careers with other people's children. I can barely handle a birthday party once a year with other people's children so the idea of spending every day with them on purpose? *shiver*
They Deal with Parents 2 of 9
ALL KINDS OF PARENTS. I mean, it's one thing to deal with other people's kids; it's a completely different thing to deal with parents because there's so many different kinds and some of them are probably kind of crappy to deal with. I'd have a hard time not taking them by the shoulders and saying: "You're setting a terrible example!" or "JUST LET ME DO MY JOB."
Which is why I'd never make it very far as a teacher (nor would I be very popular with parents).
They Fear No Craft 3 of 9
I don't do crafts. You won't find a lick of tissue paper in my house, and the only reason I have glue sticks is because sometimes Addie's teacher sends home assignments that require glue and somehow handing over a tube of super glue to a third grader seems like a terrible idea.
Glitter? Forget about it, that's teacher stuff.
Teachers Know EVERYTHING 4 of 9
I mean, if you were to ask Addie, her teacher knows EVERYTHING. With the number of times I have heard "THAT'S NOT WHAT MRS. TEACHER SAID!" or "THAT'S NOT THE WAY MRS. TEACHER DOES IT" it makes me seriously reconsider everything I do. Since it's not the way her teacher does it, clearly it is wrong.
Teachers, by default know EVERYTHING in the eyes of a grade schooler; parents on the other hand, we know nothing.
They Don’t Micromanage Grammar 5 of 9
I'm not sure when certain parts of grammar are taught, but there are certain papers Addie brings home that her teacher graded well because she followed the instructions her teacher gave her. I however see every 'me' before 'my sister' and incorrect tense. I also see the word 'funner' a lot. And 'alot' a lot. Don't even get me started on their, they're, and there.
I'm certainly not perfect, but if I were the one in charge of correcting simple papers? They would bleed red with unrelated criticism.
They Wake up Early 6 of 9
Even if I did like other people's kids, I would make a terrible teacher because of the early hours. Not only would I have to be there before the kids, I would have to be fully dressed and happy about it — which — nope.
They Choose Better Reading Material 7 of 9
I was in the home of a teacher I greatly admire last week and you know what was by her toilet? A book about the Constitution and how to help kids understand it. Apparently she had a bit of a stomach bug and took to studying it intently, hoping to have her lesson plan laid out by the end of the year.
You know what I read on the toilet when I have a stomach bug? Us Weekly — the smuttier the better.
They Dig Math 8 of 9
I've told Addie I had to work hard at math, but I've never told her I hated it — because I don't want to give her any ideas about hating math as well. She will have to work at it, the same way her dad and I did. When I talked to her teacher about it, she said: "Oh! I just love math. Sometimes it just takes the right teacher to get a kid to fall in love with it."
I can safely say I will never be the person that makes a kid fall in love with math.
Tiny Paychecks for a Lot of Work 9 of 9
No teacher I've met gets paid what they deserve for what they do, and yet they do it, day after day, year after year. They really love what they do and believe in what they do. I on the other hand have thrown my hands up and walked away from things that were either too hard, not fulfilling, or didn't pay enough.
Find more of Casey’s writing on her blog moosh in indy or her Babble Voices site Shutterlovely. She’s also available on twitter, facebook, flickr and Instagram. If you can’t find her any of those places? Check the couch, she’s probably taking a nap.