My fingers brush past the chalk, its dust finely layering the floor below it. The excited chatter behind me, as the new high schoolers voice their excitement for the new school year, or for some, their disdain. My eyes glance to my diploma on the wall; 4 years of studying and late nights and stress and far too much caffeine have put me here. Here, in front of 30 teenagers, ready to impart my knowledge, my learnings.
I turn to face the students, and a hush falls over the class. I am new; they are new. Am I nice? Am I pleasant? Am I pushover? Am I the teacher that will haunt their dreams until they’re 50? And most importantly, am I fair? The faintest of smiles touches my mouth, and I introduce myself. I am nice. I can be pleasant. I am no pushover, and I certainly hope that you will remember me with fondness when you’re 50. But if they take nothing else but this away from my class, it’s that they know that I am fair.
I see nervous smiles, relief swept faces, and a few scowls. I see that the year ahead will be full of smiles, laughter, arguments, maybe even a few hugs. These young minds, these hungry, greedy minds, yearning for direction, yearning for knowledge. No question is a wasted question, and I do not chastise you for not understanding something immediately.
Together, we will face this school year, as a team.
Because I, once the student…
Am now the teacher.
But here I now sit, my dreams long forgotten, my knowledge but a distant memory. The clackety clack of the keyboard diminishes any further thought of my once-dream, and yet another memo is spat out of the printer. For the student never became a teacher; instead another mindless drone out in the corporate world.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? How close or far are you from that vision?