Skunk Town

After Stargazer’s comment, I was thinking about teaching as a career (not for me, just in general). Who chooses it, when, and why? When I was in elementary school, I thought being a teacher would be the cat’s pajamas. But I was a kid then. It was the 1960s and I was fascinated with the teacher’s planning book and I thrived on correcting other student’s papers (which probably isn’t allowed any more). It would be heaven to have a room full of kids like me who thrived on doing mimeographed sheets of math problems or answering questions in reading workbooks.

It’s too long a story for tonight but I discovered in college that I did not really want to teach. I was a music major by then but that’s a whole ‘nother story — a long, boring one that I’d like to block until I am 90 or so… After college, I had the idea of working a day job and doing music at night, so I taught myself to type (if you can play the flute or the puano, you can type!) and somehow I fell into a computer career. I had no experience whatsoever but it was a good fit for me and I ran with it. And I didn’t really have the time or guzzinta to launch a music career on the side. I don’t really have any regrets about that.

Later, when I decided to quit that particular job, I remember The Commander saying something like, “Well, maybe now you will go back to school to be a teacher.” The Commander began teaching one afternoon a week when I was 10. She then went to school to get a teaching certificate and, with that, Mr. Dubow hired her as a full-time high school teacher. And then, she went on to get a masters degree. She became a popular teacher in my high school. For one thing, she created a child care class with real children coming to a space in the school. As I have traversed the hospital and assisted living landscape of my hometown during the last five months, I have run into more than a few people who fondly remember when they had my mom for a teacher.

Still, teaching isn’t for me. I can coach apt students, people who are interested in learning (like me). And I am best on a one-to-one basis. I do not know how I would deal with managing a whole classroom.

I do have the greatest respect for what teachers do. My mom would go to school at 0-skunk-30 and come home after work and grade papers far into the night. I think it is even harder nowadays with shrinking budgets and insane reporting requirements. And helicopter parents. I do not understand why Michigan’s governor is trying his darndest to squash the teachers’ union. I wonder if he knows any teachers or what the heck they do…

Speaking of skunks, somebody encountered a rabid one on my regular walking route.

2 Responses to “Skunk Town”

  1. DogMomster Says:

    Yikes! re the rabid skunk on your route… and also for the apparent fact the dog *killed* the skunk. Wonder if a) the skunk “sprayed” or if b) the skunk was so affected that it failed to “do what comes naturally”?

    Agreed re your comments about teaching – I have tremendous respect for the people who choose to go into that profession, and even moreso for the folks I know who do it well and have great enthusiasm for it IN SPITE OF what Snyder (and Paul Scott – grrrr) have been doing to them. I still cannot get over the folks who gripe that “teachers only work 9 months out of 12” – they obviously have no clue. One young woman in my flute section is teaching BOTH band AND AP Chemistry at the high school that employs her; she puts in many extra hours with the marching band AND with doing the AP Chem lab set-ups. On top of that, she put in time during the summer with 3 other school districts working at their Summer Schools. Then there’s Marching Band Camp. I think she’s put in at least 12 months of work already, and it’s only the 9th month of the calendar year….

  2. Margaret Says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. We do often feel misjudged, criticized and unappreciated. Teaching isn’t just a career, it’s a vocation. It can be an art.