MONDAY: Question of the Day: Teaching

And Monday’s QOTD was submitted by Ayla over at High On Healthy.  She is one of the coolest bloggers I know (no! This has nothing to do with the fact that she’s the only person besides my husband who has my blog in a google reader).  She wonders:

“Why did you decide to become a kindergarten teacher? If you had the chance to go back to school and choose another career would you do it?”

Oh man, the quick and dirty answer to your question is (and please know that this answer is being colored by the fact that I am coming off of a particularly tough week at school):

1. After babysitting for some amazing girls the summer after my freshman year at college I realized I had a passion for being involved positively in the lives of children.

2. Do you mean go back NOW and choose another career therefore giving myself two different possible career paths?  Or do you mean literally go back in time and change my major to have never taught in the first place?

I think it wouldn’t be a bad idea to go back NOW to school and study to do something else.  It’s always nice to have other options (ahem, dental hygienists start at around $59,000 after two years of school!)  in case I get tired of being intimidated by parents, hit and kicked by students, and working 11 hour days.  During the school year you are exhausted most of the time, your pile of work is never ending, and you will probably never have a day where EVERYONE who you work for (administrators, parents, students, and colleagues) are going to be happy with the job you are doing.

The following clip is a little snippet of ONLY the never ending work side of teaching.  This is during the winter holiday break (yes, yes, I know! I love the breaks! No complaints here about our lack of time off)

Even with all the stresses of teaching I wouldn’t go back in time to have NEVER taught.  And to be honest, I’m not sure that I would want another career.  I had a summer job where I worked in a cold computer room doing research and I thought I might die.  I had more downtime on that job that any job I’ve ever had – and it made the days feel like weeks!  Plus, it was freezing 99% of the time, and I have worked in a ski lodge setting skis before — not as cold as that research job!

I’m pretty sure I’m good at what I do, and when administrators, parents, and students let you know they think you’re tops, it feels really nice.

Of course I have days where I call my mom to let her know that I think selling shoes would have been a better choice.  And I told my husband the other day that I was going to quit and be a secretary or an assistant at a daycare.  He said, “But you love teaching!”  I said again that I was going to quit.  He helped me brainstorm other things I could do for a  living.  I suggested professional blogger.  The next day I went back to work, had a good day, and forgot all about working at Macy’s as a perfume salesgirl.

I know I said this was the quick and dirty answer to your question.  Even though the answer seems like it’s all over the place — I like it, I could live without it, I love it, I want to quit — that’s just how teaching is.  I don’t know a single teacher who hasn’t said at some point, “that’s it, I’m done”.  I also don’t know of a single teacher (who is meant to be a teacher) who hasn’t said “I love this job”.

The point is, I do love what I do, and I especially love that fact that I get to teach kiddos at such an impressionable age.  Each day is a challenge, and each day is another day to have a “win” in the classroom.  As a teacher I have to be an eternal optimist.  And each summer you get a renewed feeling of, “This is going to be the best year yet!”

I hope this answered your question, Ayla! 🙂

Remember, dear readers, that you too can have your question answered in a wordy and convoluted way if you post your question in the comment section of this blog, via TWITTER or my FACEBOOK page.  HAPPY SUMMER COUNTDOWN!



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3 responses to “MONDAY: Question of the Day: Teaching

  1. Tiffany Cox

    I SO loved reading this post! I feel the same way about teaching kindergarten. It’s such an involved job, with so many layers (much like the onion talked about in shrek, haha). I don’t think there could ever be a quick and dirty answer to the question mentioned above. I remember one of our college professors reading us a poem about all the “jobs” required of teachers (i.e. professional shoe tier, tear wiper, etc.) Sometimes I don’t want to deal with the momma drama and/or write a million report card comments, but when I see a five year old excited about learning something new it makes up for the difficult days. Sometimes I feel guilty for feeling overwhelmed and ready to quit, it’s nice to hear that I’m not the only one involved in a love/hate relationship 😉

    • We aren’t the only ones, Tiffi! I remember that poem about the jobs as well. And it’s so true. It’s tough, because in other professions people always say, “but we have drama too”. The thing is, parents care more about their children than their own lives (which is a good thing), so we have the important job of daily, taking care of these parents’ hopes and dreams.

  2. highonhealthy

    Thanks! That definitely answered my question and I enjoyed the little video. 😀

    I guess it’s like any job – there will be days when you love it and days when you hate it. Then again, that love/hate thing happens for ALL aspects of life.

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