A Teaching Life

Simply put, and much to my surprise, my life has been about teaching.

Early in my life, I vowed never to become a teacher in a valiant effort to resist falling victim to the family vocation– my maternal grandfather, my father, and my mother were all teachers. Instead, I pursued a disparate array of hands-on and intellectual pursuits, among these were carpentry, philosophy (as a college major), horticulture, memoir writing, and equine massage. However, finally, in a bid to see the world, I opted to earn a degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. I figured if  securing that particular degree would grant me a ticket to anywhere, I could hack teaching for a few years. It would only be a temporary gig, and then I would get on with the rest of my professional life– whatever that turned out to be. Fast forward twenty years, and I am still teaching.

So what has kept me in the game so long? Teaching, it turns out, is a profession that is perfectly suited to my psychological architecture. I am most content when I am learning, the steeper and more serpentine the learning curve the better. Teaching certainly offers a boundless, meandering learning journey. Like ballet, writing, or my other passion, dressage, one can never master the art of teaching — one can only find new avenues or directions in which to continue to develop and expand one’s craft [as a teacher].

So, in 20 years of my teaching life, I have learned quite a few things. Teaching is not for the weak-hearted, nor the weak-willed. Teaching  is not for the someone looking to accumulate great wealth or influence with power-brokers. And teaching is not for the easily exasperated among us. Teaching, however, is just right for engaging in community, diversity, creativity, and, best of all, learning.

One Reply to “A Teaching Life”

  1. Alexandria Young says: Reply

    You have taught me something. I am pleased to learn that teaching is just right for engaging in learning. That idea is comforting.

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