I decided to get a haircut and immediately the small talk begins. If you don’t know me personally, I’m an awkward person and would much rather write a blog post than talk to a stranger, but I digress…
One of the first questions was, “so, what do you do?” Even though I’m a Technology Integrationist, I still consider myself a teacher especially when I don’t want to explain what it is that I do. At this point, the conversations starts to blossom, and she is getting interested because her child is new to school. She wants the best for him and doesn’t want him to become bored because he knows everything. Apparently, this is what happened to her brother. Her brother was so smart that he was bored and didn’t do well in school.
My short-lived relationship with my hairdresser turned into a really great one-sided conversation, which are my favorite types of conversations. About 10 minutes in a problem presented itself. She asked me a question.
“Have you always wanted to be a teacher?” she queried.
“Well, no.” I replied hesitantly. I really started strong with my career selection. Since Kindergarten, I wanted to a cartoonist for Disney, and I stuck with that dream for about 15 years. Then, I went on a career picking extravaganza from high school and into college.
Okay, here is when the conversation got weird. I further went on to say, “I always hated school.” At this point, she was flabbergasted and asked multiple questions.
“Wait, I don’t understand…How could you become a teacher then? Why would you work in a school?” She seemed genuinely concerned especially since her child just started school.
This was one of those points in a conversation that make it difficult to distract people from what they are mulling over in their minds. She was consumed with my comment and was irritated that I become a teacher. I wish I could have explained to her my reasoning behind becoming a teacher, but she was too consumed with my initial comment. No amount of charts, graphic organizers, or PowerPoint slides would have brought her back from her negative thoughts about me.
Here is what I would have said. I did well in Middle School and High School, but I mostly just did the minimum to get decent grades. I didn’t really push myself. There wasn’t a reason to care and no teacher ever seemed to care about me. I appreciated some topics more but it was more of a novel appeal. I wouldn’t say I was passionate about learning.
Then, I took Physics, Geology, Anthropology, English 131 (Disasters Theme), Algebra, Electricity, Political Science, Abnormal Psychology, Sociology 101 and other interesting courses in college, and I realized something.
- I realized that I loved gaining knowledge.
- I realized I could write better than the red pens would have me believe.
- I realized I couldn’t just enjoy one subject, but they were all my favorite.
- I realized something was wrong with public school because I should have realized this love for learning sooner than later.
There was something invigorating about finding out how many Adenosine Triphosphate a mitochondria produced.
In retrospect, what I will tell people from now on is this. “I hated school, but I loved learning.”