Monday, September 5, 2011
We all have our reasons
The picture above was taken in the staff bathroom at my school. Weird, maybe, but there are often questions written for people to answer, which is sometimes the most interaction we get to have throughout the day sans kiddos. This one struck me, because it brings to light all the different reasons people do what they do.
Teaching is similar to social services in that no one goes into it for the money. Whether it was a revered teacher or a family tradition, a surprise passion or planned from childhood, everyone has their own story. Working with people at all can be difficult, and working with kids can be especially trying, for a variety of reasons.
What I also like about the responses is that it shows the variety of people who choose the same career. From the serious responses to the fallback plan after failing as the fifth Beatle, people's personalities come out when asked questions like this. It's interesting walking around the school and hearing just bits of the teaching going on in each classroom. I might walk past a class where all the kids are sitting still as the teacher commands their attention with a firm voice, or a class where the kids are all hopping around the room like frogs. I hear laughter as kids walk in wobbly lines through the hallways, always accompanied by the "shhhh" sounds from other kids and adults.
I feel like a celebrity walking through the halls of my school. My clients go out of their way to give me hugs, or wave wildly from across the library. Sometimes they just give a small wave, not to be too uncool in front of their friends. There is always the question, "When are you coming to get me?" which I try to answer diplomatically as I pass. Many times even kids I have never met will run up to me and say, "Hi, Rena!" and grin as I return the greeting. When I sit in my office, it is not unusual for kids to run in and draw something on my chalkboard, or just run in and stand in front of me, smiling a little smile and waiting for me to say something brilliant. Sometimes they ask why I have so many toys, to which I always reply, "For me to play with." They tell me that I'm an adult and can't play with toys, and we argue back and forth.
Kids are unpredictable. They're hilarious. They are my passion, and as hard as it can be sometimes to work with them, there is nothing else I could see myself doing. What is your passion? How did you choose your path?