Today’s a special day of sorts in my life. Today marks an anniversary for me. You see 9 years today to the very day, I joined the ranks of the teaching fraternity, and let me tell you it’s been on hell of a ride.
Now I want to share this experience, as is the case with most experiences, but as I contemplated what to write about my time in this profession, I must say I was rather perplexed.
On the one hand I’ve been lucky enough to work in a place where I’ve found a sense of community if not family. Sitting and working beside some really interesting folks. Some of whom have been an inspiration, others who have toppled me constantly to a state of disequilibrium which has forced me to learn and learn and adapt. I’ve been bent and molded by this thing and all the things that it’s swept into my mental space along with it. But if I only wrote about those things, I might give the impression that all is always well, and that is a pitfall I am trying to avoid.
On the other hand I could write about all the bad, all the folks, colleagues, students, administrators and administrations which have taught me that I have an amazing propensity for the receipt of abuse. From the whole sale criticisms of ministry officials, or those shadow officials who speak under the guise of the protection of us. I could render tales for over crowding and inadequate resources, of sleepless nights and thankless efforts. All of that would be true and I could write it all and not lose a wink of sleep knowing that it has been set free.
I did tarry in my thought process and spare a thought to the offence that either discourse might cause. That some of my “superiors” and even colleagues might feel offended if I were to point out the inadequacies of the thing, or that public would feel vindicated in the vilification of not only me but all those persons with backs similarly fractured by the efforts of providing education. But I’m in a frame of mind at the moment to not be bothered. You see the truth is that this thing called teaching has it’s own unique highs and lows and to dwell on either is to detract from the other.
One of the highs I’ve had, and it makes me smile even now as I sit and think about them, are my students. Well some of my students. The ones that stood out and made and impression on me, and even to a lesser extent the folks with whom I was a ship in the night passing. Those ones who only years later, maybe in passing or in the course of casual conversation reveal that I really did help, inspire, comfort, or encourage them. There really is something to be said for the personal satisfaction of teaching. It’s almost enough to make me forget the headaches, the sleeplessness, the heartburn from stress. yes Almost.
Another had been the unique position it has afforded me to watch my country grow and develop, to tap the eb and flow of social and cultural changes. The ability to envision a future based on my observations of the unfiltered opinions of the people as viewed through our filter-less youth. It has inspired action, and change, ingenuity and drive.
Tonight when I lay my head to rest, closing the day, the day that marks 9 years since I entered this thing. I’ll do it knowing that I would have done some good. That I would have been taught that I have strength and patience beyond even my own expectations. I will do it knowing that I am in full possession of the vitality to continue and maybe to surpass my expectations of myself.
And I owe it all, to the fact that I have worked 9 years in the most testing job of them all. Now I”m not sure if this better-sweet occasion is cause for celebration. I haven’t done anything special, have I? Nothing outside the scope of being what a good human being ought to be. Right?