I wanted to teach my students how to live this life on earth.
To face its struggles and its strife and to improve their worth.
Not just the lesson in a book or how the rivers flow,
But how to choose the proper path wherever they may go.
To understand eternal truth and know the right from wrong
And gather all the beauty of a flower and a song.
For if I helped the world to grow in wisdom and in grace
Then I feel that I have won and I have filled my place.
And so I asked your guidance, God that I have done my part
For character and confidence and happiness of heart.
It seems that ever since I was born, people have always asked me:
Are you a teacher?
When I was sitting down at lunch with some of my colleagues, they asked me: Dont you want to be a teacher? They didnt mention the rewards of working with kids. They mentioned the money and the time off. For me, money has never been a motivator, no matter how much money is involved. Perhaps that is why I get paid so little?!
I cannot begin to tell you the many times I have tried to block that prediction of being a teacher from coming true, although working in a school setting now, I have come to realize that all this talk about how little teachers make is a bunch of bologna. Teachers make approximately $50,000 a year and they get summers off and they still complain that they dont get paid enough. What a crock! I'm sorry but that is a lot of money.
I know I have a degree and I am not paid what I am worth. I know I have taught many people many things, but I dont know if what I am is the same definition as what you might think a teacher is. If it is anything like the poem above, then, yes, I am a teacher, but if it is a person who teaches math all day or english all day, I dont think that is what I want to be. I am a case worker. I am a counselor. I suppose there is some truth in that a case worker and a counselor can be thought of as a kind of teacher.
You look like a teacher, they tell me. What does a teacher look like anyway? Dorky? Smart? Do I look like someone who would make you do it over if you didnt do it right the first time?! Teachers clearly have no sense of style! Least not at the two schools I have worked at. But if they mean I look smart~ well, then say what you mean! I look smart!
My work in investigations, with the mentally ill, and as a jail counselor meant working 24/7 with no holidays or time off for myself. Try over 20 years of that. The body eventually gets tired, especially with the physical problems that I have had after my car accident and the two recent falls that I have had since I moved to the Valley. There is that word again... the Valley. The Valley has literally put me in a valley. I feel like a fish out of water.
The switch in jobs took much thought. Do what you love and allow your body to get even more run down (especially since you are over 50) or switch to something that will not require you to work 24/7 or to go through five cars every eight years and give you the opportunity to have a life. Humm... What I didnt plan on was how different life would be without all that rush and excitement.
Living an ordinary life has been very hard on me. How do people do it? How can they go on day after day with no excitement in their lives? No wonder they panic when something happens to them.
Some may say that I am a teacher, because I provide them with skills that they can use for life.
Yes, although I have lived most of my life alone, I have lead a very full life and there was much excitement in it. My life has left me with many stories to tell and many juicy ones that still put a smile on my face when I think about them.
I do not know where this life change will take me. Will living an ordinary life be enough for me?
It only makes sense that I have to eat to put some excitement into my mouth! Some weeks I crave different things. This week I cannot begin to count the many times that I craved chocolate, and I still havent satisfied that craving. Is it any wonder that I cant stick to a diet since "The Valley~ Land of No Excitement"?!!
Like Mr. Holland of Mr. Holland's Opus, I keep trying to write my Opus, but I pray that like Mr. Holland, the compass of my life will change what I perceive as ordinary and turn it into an Opus that will make my heart sing.