This morning I saw a video titled "If We Treated Teachers Like Football Stars," of course I watched it and laughed. "If only" were my thoughts. Later at school I was talking with a friend and he asked, "You really want to teach, don't you?" and I nodded. Yes, I really do want to teach. Never ever ever ever did I think I'd want to be a teacher. I left my last life because it didn't have any meaning. I felt as if I wasn't doing anything important. Now, although some days are rough, I do feel as if I'm making a difference.
Now, I can go on and talk about why I'm being selfless and improving students lives, but that would be a lie. Not a complete lie, but a little white one. I don't help all students. That's not because I don't want it, it's because they don't want it. They sit there the whole semester with a bored and or smelling shit face, and I can't do anything about it. Instead of griping with other faculty about it, I try to focus on the ones that do want to be there and are asking for an education. Those students make me want to be selfless. They make me want to jump through hoops to show them books and stories and ideas they've never heard of. They fill the void I had in my past life.
There are other reasons, selfish reasons, I have for wanting to teach. Teaching gives me time to write. It gives me time to read. It gives me time off so I can visit far away places. It also allows me to meet like minded people that I can nerd out with and talk about books and writing for hours. Is it bad to be selfish? I don't think so. Does it taint my want for teaching? No, because I think of teachers that influenced my life, and I'm grateful. (Thank you Mrs. Duran, Mr. Scroggins, Dr. Terrell)
Earlier this week a professor at the college passed away. I didn't know her well, but most of her adult life was spent in those buildings and hallways. I've heard a few other professors and staff speak of her, and at first I thought how weird it must be to just disappear from somewhere after being there for so long, and how sad that classes and things are going on as if she never existed. But instead of thinking of it that way, I'd like to think that perhaps this semester none of the students will know her, but there are countless semesters that students did. Perhaps, she didn't touch everyone's life, but after 40 years on campus, 80 Spring and Fall semesters, I'd like to average she made an impact on at least 1 student a semester. Now, if after I die 80 non friend and family members still remember who I am and have a story based on a book that changed their life or an essay or... then that's not a bad thing.
Pink Floyd's video shows children being churned into a machine. A metaphor for the man and how we all become a piece of that machine. That happens. It's true. I've been a part of whole different kind of man and hated myself a little. But maybe it's what we do while we're in the man that can make a difference.