Monday, September 13, 2010

How I Became A School Teacher: Part 1

I wanted to be a homeschooler.

I had an idea of what it entailed as I was homeschooled myself for 2 1/2 years.  My mom was certainly on the cutting edge of the movement and we only knew of one other family who was homeschooled at the time and they closed their shades and did not allow the children out of the house during school hours.  Not my mom though.  She could not stand the school system we were in and when she made up her mind to pull us out she did so with pride and we never hid.  She was strong and very brave.

Interesting memory to revisit now that I have the perspective of motherhood.

As I grew up and thought about having my own family I decided that I would be a homeschool parent.  And I decided this before I had children.  It was going to be wonderful.  I would bake bread and teach them math in the process.  They would be so grateful to have such an attentive mommy and daily I would get to see with my own two eyes how they are growing and learning because of the knowledge that I was imparting to them.

My children would rise up and call me blessed!

Then reality hit in the form of an 18-month old who would get infuriated at the mere thought that I might be trying to teach him something.  He didn't want to count cars.  He wanted to see how much damage they could do to the hearth if he flung them at the fireplace!  He didn't want to make art.  He wanted to eat paint.  He didn't want to just read the book.  He wanted to tear it up when he was done.  And most telling, anytime he struggled, I... his mother... his future teacher.... was the last person he wanted to help him.  Apparently I have the unique ability to frustrate the living snot out of my son.

Sending him off to let someone else teach him started to sound appealing.

As he got older I would laugh at myself.  "Haha!  I was going to homeschool!  That was a good one!"  Then oddly, it seems my circle of friends started including teachers.  Then as one friend would move out of my life and another would move in, more and more of my circle seemed to include teachers.  Now I feel like I can't get on the phone with a friend without calling either a public school, private school or homeschool teacher.

And they all sound like nightmare jobs to me.

I work in insurance.  And I like it.  I know you think that above sentence about bad dreams was hyperbole but no!  You don't understand.  I have had nightmares about being left in charge of small children with the goal of educating them.  Sometimes I'm even in my pajamas in this dream further illustrating how how vulnerable and exposed the thought of being a teacher makes me feel.

So it was no small shock but rather a great cause for laughter when Marc's 4th grade teacher called to ask a little favor.  "They have scheduled a surprise in-service for the teachers and I wondered if you could come sub from EIGHT O'CLOCK IN THE EARLY MORNING ALL THE WAY UNTIL TWELVE O'CLOCK IN THE AFTERNOON?"  Okay.  So she didn't shout that last part or make it sound so ominous.  That was all in my head.  Haha.  So after I stopped laughing and picked myself off the floor and realized it was not April 1st I said, "Sure!  No problem!  I'd love to!"

No I didn't.

I did agree to do it but not without a bit of nervous laughter and assurances that I could fake it just fine.

I'll tell you how it went tomorrow!

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