I am not a teacher
I am not a teacher. I only got the distinction due to a job title. I wasn’t born into it like some folks. When we were little lots of little girls in my friend group wanted to play school and be the teacher, I wasn’t one of them. I wanted to play cops and robbers or dog and dog catcher. At age six teaching wasn’t for me. My mom was a teacher. She did over a dozen years in the profession. She taught all three of us girls in some aspect or the other throughout our school days. It was always a joke with the other teachers about which of us would follow in her footsteps and become a teacher. By the time I was in high school, I knew teaching wasn’t my path and so did everyone else.
Life puts us where we should be
Life has a funny way of getting back at us. I ended up becoming a teacher by some sort of chance of fate. I took an IT job at the high school where I had attended and my mom had worked at one point or another. Three days after the start of the 2020 school year, the computer teacher quit. The principal walked in and asked me to take over. I had no training, no desire, no chance to prepare, and no idea what I was walking into.
I have taught
Now one year later I’m still not a teacher. I am not one of those special people who can make complex problems simple, who can keep a class enraptured, or who can convince kids that knowledge can be worth something. I wasn’t born with the desire to be in a classroom or to impart wisdom to a younger generation about things like science and math. But I have been a teacher.
Anyone can but some are born
Teaching is like any other career. Anyone can do it but only some were made to. I wouldn’t give up my time as a teacher. I have had the chance to experience something that most don’t. Being in the school system at the actual teacher level is like working at a homeless shelter. Until you have actually been there, you have never seen how bad the system is, or how good some people can be despite the system. Teachers, real teachers, those brilliant gems who were born to teach, are the people who give you hope despite the absolute brokenness of the system.
I have a unique ability now that I have been a teacher to draw attention to flaws in the system. I know good teachers because I worked with them. I know other teachers, not bad teachers, but teachers who weren’t born teachers because I was one. I know the system because I was in it. I can speak about it because now I’m out of it and it won’t cost me my job unlike so many of the teachers who are still doing their best to help those kids they are entrusted with. I am not a teacher, but I am going to do my absolute best to support those amazing people who such a hard profession.