Adults always ask what you want to be when you grow up. In school, you write essays about it, you answer that question for the yearbook, you take courses in high school and college that direct you along that path to career.
In all the times I was asked what my dream job would be, what I thought I was put on this earth for, I never ever said “I want to grow up and be a teacher.”
Here on wordpress.com, I’m involved in the “postaday2011” challenge, with several thousand other bloggers. The goal is, and I know you didn’t see this coming, to post a blog a day. 365 blogs. That’s a lot. So to motivate us, the site sends out suggested topics for each day, in case you hit writer’s block and can’t push through. A few weeks ago the suggested topic was “Who was the worst teacher you ever had?”
I read through some of the follow-ups and comments. A few years ago, I think I would have laughed along with the rest of them, complaining about teachers who should have retired long ago, or wondering why people who seem to hate children get into the teaching profession at all, or too much/lack of discipline in the classroom. A lot of older generations seemed to get really fired up talking about the corporal punishment they endured under their headmasters.
And I thought back to some of the teachers that I have had in the past…and mad, there were some wild or weird or horrible ones.
I had a teacher in junior high who didn’t come to school until about October because she was undergoing chemotherapy. She was our math teacher, but she was trained to be a choral teacher. She knew nothing about math. She used to send us out of the classroom to run laps around the school if we were noisy, and she’d walk up and down the aisles pulling our hair. She would burst randomly into song. We learned…to be scared of her.
I had teachers who reeked of cigarettes and alcohol, teachers who screamed at me, teachers who threw things, teachers who tried to hard to make us like them, teachers who didn’t seem to care if we were in the room, teachers who seemed to just want an audience. There were some that I thought I hated. And we would ask those questions, “why is she a teacher? she obviously hates children/she doesn’t know what she’s talking about/I’m not learning anything/I’m going to grow up to be a teacher just so I can be better than her!” Oh and now I cringe to think of all the horrible impressions we did of them, of how they dressed and did their makeup (purple eyeshadow up to their eyebrows, pants up to their droopy boobs) and pictures we drew! Yikes.
But now that I am on the other side of the table, I see things quite differently. Quite differently, indeed.
To be continued tomorrow….as this teacher has a HUGE stack of papers to grade, and a volleyball match to plan on winning tomorrow. :)