November 12: Teaching Career
If you had asked me twenty years ago what did I see myself doing over the next two decades… teaching would not have been a blip on the screen.
I had little patience with my own children, a virtue needed in abundance when in the classroom.
I had no experience, unless you count the hours of playing pretend school with my stuff animals when I was about five years old.
I had no skills to teach high school English and literature – I was a French and Political Science major.
And I was never certified.
I am ashamed to say that I did not eagerly accept this call. In fact, if I had the choice, I would have gladly hung up the phone. I was quite angry with God for the first eight weeks of the school year, and vowed this would only be a one year commitment.
But something happened that day before Thanksgiving break, 2001. On the spur of the moment I picked up a grocery circular on the way to school. I improvised a math lesson and had the students plan and budget for a family holiday dinner. They loved the project – and learned that purchasing a 10 pound bag of potatoes is more cost efficient than buying them individually.
We continued the lesson into language arts where they wrote a story of their favorite Thanksgiving memory. And then we shared them aloud before singing hymns of gratitude to close the day. By the close of school I realized I could do this. It was a definitive moment that changed my attitude – and my life – forever.
Since that time I have taught a wide variety of classes, from elementary grammar to College level English Comp; from creative writing to computer apps. And I have read, analyzed, and taught some of the great literary classics.
I have now witnessed my students go on to college, graduate, and now teach high school English to the next generation of students. And that is something marvelous to witness.
I have indeed been blessed by this unexpected career, and I am forever grateful to have had this awesome opportunity.