the teacher I never knew I was

I never wanted to be a teacher.

Not ever.

When I was a kid and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I never said “teacher.”  I looked at my many friends pursuing teaching degrees in college with a mixture of pity and wonderment.  Pity because of all the busy work in those horrid education classes*.  And wonderment because, to me, it was the height of self-sacrifice.

When I was 10 or so and my best friend would set up “school” for us to play, it took all the enthusiasm I could muster to go along.  She’d happily stand at the front with ruler in hand pointing at the board, going over lesson after lesson, while I’d sit on the floor, the dutiful student waiting for school to get out.

Now that I’m a homeschooling mom, teaching is my life.  Let’s face it, if you’re a mom, period, teaching is a big part of your life, even if you’re not homeschooling.  Everything about having kids involves teaching.

But, shockingly, I love to teach.  There, I said it.  I love to teach my kids.  And no one could be more surprised about it than I am.  Yes, it’s hard work and yadda yadda yadda, but what I didn’t know was that it is also incredibly rewarding and exciting.

I’ve always loved to learn.  I could have stayed in school for a very long time and been quite happy, I think.  Teaching my kids gives me an opportunity to continue learning and it also has pushed my relationship with my kids to levels that I wouldn’t have anticipated.

Looking at curriculum, getting to decide what fits my kids and our family best, reading and reading and reading some more, it’s awakened the teacher in me that I never knew I was.

Having my daughter read a book to me and knowing that I had a hand, the hand, in teaching her to do that, is a reward better than any degree I could earn.  And, at least I got to avoid the busy work!

*Not all teaching degrees require horrid busy work.  That’s just my perception. 🙂


6 thoughts on “the teacher I never knew I was

  1. I love teaching my kids. And the best part is how much more I love to learn now than when I was young. I’m more curious now than I was at 10 years old – I’m thankful that we can ask crazy questions now about anything and find the answer, expert opinions, detailed photos and explanations in seconds on the internet. Being at home allows us to follow rabbit trails every day right when the interest is hot, and the learning sets deep in their brain (and mine). Happy Teaching! (I never wanted to be a “teacher” either!)

  2. Abigail,

    As a teacher, I couldn’t resist commenting. First, you’re right. Those college assignments were horrid busy work! Some of it was fun, but for the most part, it was pointless compared to what you actually have to do in a teaching position. I’d love to spend my time making cutesy bulletin boards and lessons, but the reality is that there isn’t time for that!

    I’m so glad you see the rewards and excitement in teaching. There’s not much more rewarding than watching a small child grasp a new concept for the first time. To see the innocence, accomplishment, confidence, and delight in them brings such joy. I’m so proud when it happens, and the kiddos I teach aren’t mine. I can’t imagine the feeling as a mother!

    I didn’t see myself as a teacher either. I went into it because I loved kids and because I thought it would better prepare me in case I wanted to homeschool. And I do. In fact, oddly enough, the longer I teach in public education, the more likely it is that I WILL homeschool, if/when I get the chance. But that’s a whole other topic! 🙂

    Savor the moments, and relish every single teaching time with your children knowing you are the very best teacher they will ever have!

  3. I agree with never wanting to be a teacher. My best friend is a 3rd grade teacher, and when we were in college one of her assignments was to take care of two spiders for a week! Yuck, yuck, yuck!! We hope to homeschool our children and I look forward to it because I love to see them learning even now!

    By the way, I think my oldest and your third child are the same age. His birthday is 8/21/07. I remember a post you did on your daughter’s bday and I think it was the same day. 🙂

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