“What did you want to be when you grew up when you were our age?” one of my students asked me today. We were walking to the bus departure area- I enjoy this time of no pressure chat.
“Oh, I almost always knew I wanted to be a teacher,” I answered. “At times I thought I would want to be a detective, an author, or a lawyer, but from grade 2 on I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher,” I added. She may have said something else, but by then I was lost in thought.
Grade 2 was, indeed, the year I found my calling. From what I remember, Grade 2 was not a great year for me. We had moved after kindergarten and after going to the (new) neighborhood school for first grade my parents sent me to a new school, so I had to make new friends (again). I know I hated PE so much that on many PE days I developed a fever (yes, a genuine, verified by the school nurse fever). My mother was working at a nursery school that year, so she could not just take me home. Somehow she knew that I was not “really” sick, but when the nurse called I had to go. She took me to her nursery school (called The Barn) and I got to “play school”. I had lots of preschool students happy to listen to me read or follow whatever else I had planned. Looking back, I am not sure how long it lasted- I just know that those were my first moments being a teacher, and I loved it. Eventually, I must have got used to PE, because I did participate, but it definitely was never a highlight of my day (I think I could write more than a few slices about negative PE experiences- PE teacher friends swear it is much different now).
As a third grade teacher, I can see some excellent teachers in my room- I hope they get the chance to do what they love as I have for so many years!