Recently I’ve been thinking about my relationship with writing; its had its ups and down, but normally we’ve been pretty consistently together. I journaled at least once a week, kept up a poetry blog, wrote short stories, thoughts, etc. We were going steady for a long time — I would even call it a serious relationship. But lately we’ve been distant; I actually feel like I’ve been losing my writer’s voice. And it scared me — could writing and I be breaking up?
So here I am, crying over a potential break up; so typical, right? But instead of wallowing and accepting the loss, I’ve decided to fight for it; this relationship is important to me, and I’m not letting it go that easily, dammit.
So this is the first of many attempts to hold on.
What does it mean to be a teacher? At first I thought it was about content; instilling a love of literature as deep as my own into every student that walked into my classroom, making sure they knew the absolute most they could about adverbs and sentence structure and how VITALLY IMPORTANT the oxford comma is. All of this, of course, is not what it means to be a teacher. As I learn from amazing teachers, I’m seeing what it means to become one.
I am learning so much.
Teachers are collaborators. They know they are not the owner of knowledge or power, but instead the facilitators of it; they introduce its ebb and flow and let it make waves or watch it crash back to the shore. They work hard and in groups; they’re people people. They thrive in conversation, revel in helping others, enjoy living in change, and are master thieves; if you don’t want anyone using your ideas, keep ’em away from us teachers — we steal like we were born for it.
Which reminds me: Teachers were born to be teachers. They know it in their bones, they feel it in their shaking hands on their very first day, and their aching hearts on their very last. They know what it is to love what they do, to come home tired-eyed and smiling; they know what it is to be so invested it hurts, come home tired-eyed and defeated. They were made for this. They might not always feel it, but it is always true.
Teachers are fighters; they have a mean right-hook and can take a hit or two. They spend their days fighting on behalf of their students, fighting policies that make it harder for them to do what they do best: teach. Care. They can strike fear into the hearts of 7th graders with a single look, and sit teary-eyed as their high school students graduate; they are strong-and-soft hearted.
Teachers are learners; they are writers; they are readers and scientists and construction workers and MMA fighters and artists and dreamers and doers and caretakers and everything in between.
Teachers have the best job in the world.
And I absolutely can’t wait to join their ranks.