Thursday, August 30, 2012

A little yearning and being on the other side (again)

Today I went to N's school for a Girl Scout rally, of sorts.  A couple other troop leaders and I talked to kindergartners, 2nd graders, and 5th graders (with maybe a smattering of girls from some other grades) about Girl Scouts.

N has gotten to do some really neat things as part of Girl Scouts (especially since I took over as leader), and so I am pleased to be able to share this with other girls and hopefully help them have similar experiences.

But while we were at the school, I remembered how much as a teacher, I ABHORRED interruptions to my instruction.  It pissed me the hell off because it was a distraction to the students, it got me out of my flow, it put me behind in my lesson.  And I thought I only felt differently about summer break now that I'm a full-time mom and not a teacher.

I also realized how much middle school suits me.  Talking to the 5th graders was pleasant.  Talking to the kindergartners was torture.  They wiggled.  They wobbled.  They asked questions that were not questions but statements of fact or opinion.  When I asked if anyone had questions, one little girl raised her hand and said, "On Max & Ruby, Ruby is a Girl Scout."  I didn't burst her bubble to inform her that 1.) that wasn't a question and 2.) Ruby is a Bunny Scout, not a Girl Scout.  Those technicalities would have gone over her 5-year-old head anyway.

Afterwards I just hung out in N's classroom (where I decided that 3rd graders are about the youngest group I would care to teach).  There was less than 45 minutes until school let out, and I didn't want to drive home to have to drive back for car-rider line.

Sitting there, watching the students, I felt that longing to have my own classroom.  The longing to be educating kids other than my own (because I'm not their "mom" they would be more apt to listen).  The longing to be using my head to plan lessons and converse with colleagues.  The longing to be part of something outside of my own house and family.

Ah, there is always a but.

I just don't know if I can do it.  I'm simply not the same person I was when I taught, and I don't know if that will make me a better or worse teacher.  I don't know that I want the constancy of the work.  But I don't know that subbing (and not planning or having a say in how things are done) will satisfy me either.  It will on a time/flexibility level, but not on an intellectual level.

I thought by almost 39 I was supposed to know what I wanted to be as an adult.

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