Teaching: A Love/Hate Relationship

Recently I read John Spencer‘s two part series “What I Forgot When I left the Classroom” (part 1, part 2). I’ve been thinking about my place in education ever since.

I grew up in a family full of educators and vowed I would never be a teacher. I majored in Chemistry and minored in French at college. I dabbled in working on a dude ranch, in a pharmaceutical lab and as an English assistant in France. I followed my husband to South Carolina and was substitute teaching while looking for a job in a chemistry lab. When a job to teach high school French fell in my lap, I took it. We needed money and I needed a job.

Three and a half short years later I’m certified to teach Chemistry and French but I’ve left the classroom. I’ve also moved halfway around the world to Kuwait. I’ve grown a ton as a person and would (mostly) do it the same again. I haven’t forgotten what it’s like to be in the classroom and have even had the chance to teach some French this year. And I don’t know if I can go back. I’ve thought a lot about it and have created a short list…

Things I miss about the classroom:
1. Students. And the relationships that we were able to foster during 3 years of being “together.”
2. The ah-ha moment when a lesson comes together perfectly!

Things I don’t miss and still have nightmares about:
1. Grading.
2. The hard work of creating relationships with students.
3. Managing a classroom and cultivating respectful individuals.
4. Hours and hours spent lesson planning.
5. Creating tests and giving them.
6. Grading.
7. Proctoring standardized tests.
8. Interacting with angry parents.

The list could go on and I’ll probably add to it in the near future. I’m young and my career is in its toddler stage, but I still wonder about what the rest of my professional life will look like. Will I feel the pull back to the classroom? Will I stay involved with education technology? Will I stay in education?! I look forward to seeing what life has in store for me and looking back to see how I’ve grown.

For some other recent reflections…Sunday & today.

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