My husband is an excellent teacher. He teaches Algebra 2, Physics, and AP Physics. For some reason, he doesn’t seem to have any problems with classroom management. His students all adore him, both male and female. He connects really well with the youth and is making a tremendous impact in their lives. Being a high school teacher isn’t just about teaching your content material to your students. Anyone who is a teacher knows that it’s much more than that. It’s about helping them along in their daily lives in an effort to see them successfully achieve their goals, or at least head them in the right direction. It’s about increasing their self-esteem. It’s about being a good role-model, particularly when good-role models aren’t always easy to come by nowadays. Jon truly cares about each of his students. This past school year, he has prevented a few suicides, been a shoulder to cry on (well, not literally, but you know what I mean), and given sound advice when needed.
Last week was graduation week. Jon attended the Senior Awards Night, where he had the opportunity of presenting a few math awards. When they announced that “Mr. Over” would be presenting the next few awards, the students started screaming. In fact, he got a standing ovation! 🙂 I get the shivers just thinking about it. I tell you, the students at his high school love him! A few days later, at graduation, the students were given explicit instructions as to where they were supposed to go after they received their diplomas (back to their seats). However, two students deliberately disobeyed the principal (which isn’t necessarily a good thing) and walked right up to Jon in the stands and gave him a hug! He was the only teacher, I might add, who received such special attention. 🙂 I am so proud of him…and I sure hope that he is proud of himself. He is truly making a difference in the lives of his students.
After all of this, I couldn’t help but wonder if I would have ever been that kind of a teacher had I stuck with teaching. I quit teaching in the infancy of my career after only two years under my belt. Anyone who is a teacher knows that the first two years are rough and it only goes up hill from there. I never got the chance to go up hill. My memories of teaching are mostly those of frustration mixed in with a fair amount of highlights. There were, of course, some wonderful students whom I connected with and would like to think that I made a difference in their lives. But for the most part, the 300 or so students that I taught over those two years have most likely forgotten me, or they remember me as that new teacher who had absolutely no clue what she was doing and who let her students walk all over her! Because that was pretty much what happened. 🙂 Yet again, I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of teacher I would have been had I continued teaching rather than chosen to stay home with my little Lou-Lou.
Would I have gotten a standing ovation as well?
I’ll never know.
What I do know it this: it doesn’t matter to me. I have no regrets whatsoever because I truly believe that I currently have the best job in the world. I will most likely never get a standing ovation or be publicly honored for anything that I do. Changing diapers, wiping noses, doing laundry, taking pictures, making lunches, flipping pancakes, picking up toys, cleaning up messes, and giving time-outs aren’t usually among the things that people earn awards for. But anyone who is a mother knows that mothering is much more than the mundane tasks. It’s about helping our children along in their daily lives in an effort to see them successfully achieve their goals, or at least head them in the right direction. It’s about increasing their self-esteem. It’s about being a good role-model. It’s about loving our children more than life itself.
I have the opportunity to be smothered with hugs and kisses nearly every second of the day. My kids climb all over me. They cuddle with me. I am in love with nursing Mason. There is just something special about having a baby need you for nourishment and comfort. The best part about all of this is that I don’t have to worry about a law suit being thrown at me like I would if I were a teacher doing the exact same things. Can you imagine? 🙂
You see, I admire teachers. I was one. I still consider myself one. I used to earn a pay check (a pretty hefty one), now I don’t. I teach my children every single day. They are learning things from me, whether I want them to or not. I am their first teacher and the one that lays the foundation for the rest of their lives. To me, that is a pretty important job. It’s more than a job. It’s a sacred calling that I will never be alleviated from for the rest of my life.
Sure, I may never get a standing ovation. I’m not expecting one.
You see, I may mean nothing to the world. But to my three kids, I am their world.
And that, my friends, is really the only thing that matters.