When I tell people what I do, I always hear a similar response of amazement and awe, like I train circus lions for a living or do acrobatics off of mountainsides: “Oh, I could NEVER do that! I have so much respect for teachers, what a hard job!”
And yes, it is a challenge. It’s definitely not for the weak of heart (or bladder). But when you enjoy something, it’s a challenge you happily take on.
I knew I wanted to be a teacher from an early age. I was the oldest child in my family, and also the oldest of the large group of cousins we were raised with, so true to form, I was very bossy. I also thought I knew everything, which even if I didn’t, I would make it up and be confident the smaller ones were too dumb to figure it out. I did well in school and loved being there. I enjoy reading and writing and I have a strange affinity for school supplies (further intensified by working for an office supply store during college), and of course, I love teaching and helping people learn. (The most important part, right? :P)
But there is definitely a teacher personality. I’ve been told I have it, and that’s a huge compliment to me. I’m not sure entirely what it entails, but I assume it means I am flexible, patient and get a slight buzz from the smell of freshly Xeroxed worksheets in my hands. I don’t flip out at being asked the same boneheaded question over and over, and I am not too cool that I don’t think school spirit is a not a Big Deal. I am immune to teenage nonsense and I save every sweet little drawing an elementary child does for me. I know that saying “this will be homework if it’s not finished in class” means NOBODY will finish in class and there is never such a thing as “talk quietly to your neighbor,” because like self-serve ketchup pumps at McDonald’s that somehow make you feel like you need 8 cups of ketchup, that kind of request is just TOO MUCH to handle.
So yeah, I am a teacher. I guess I always knew I’d be.