If money was not an issue, would you work and what would you do?
I’m a self-professed nerd. I don’t wear a pocket protector, or have tape across the bridge of my glasses. Reading isn’t really a hobby; it’s more of a necessity. I read pretty much anything and everything, from the back of the shampoo bottle to Gray’s Anatomy.
I’m a perpetual student. Not in the classic sense – I don’t attend classes. However, there’s a special satisfaction that wells up inside me after I’ve learned something; I love to learn for the sake of knowledge. This is why I read.
I believe that my love of learning is what makes me a good teacher. I teach high school science – physical science, biology, environmental science, and chemistry. My deepest desire for my students is for them to relish that feeling of success that comes from learning something, to become so addicted to it that they constantly strive to better themselves, that they never become complacent. Even deeper than that, though, is my desire for them to apply that fervor to their relationship with their Savior, Jesus Christ, to constantly strive to become more like Him.
I live for those “Aha!” moments in my classroom, that defining moment when I can see the light bulb switching on above their head, and their eyes light up with understanding. Sometimes that’s a direct result of something I’ve said or done, but my very favorite times are when they’ve sweated through a problem or misunderstanding for as long as it takes to GET it. Then they look up with pride in their eyes, and the surge of adrenaline that accompanies the “I did it!” makes them want to do more. I celebrate those moments with them; I shout and clap and dance and sing for them, but sometimes only on the inside, depending on the personality and motivation of the student.
I’ve taught for seven years and never taken a summer “off”. I’ve taught summer school or worked. In the summer of 2004, I had our son, but I was so sick afterward that I don’t really count that summer as “off”. Even after he was born, I worked or took classes during the summers.
Until now. This year, I remembered that one of the reasons I wanted to teach is that I would have time off with our children. This year, I had my own “Aha!” moment. We have a son now, and that time that I always dreamed about is here. I get to have time off with our son.
I’ll admit that I wondered how I could compete with his playschool in terms of friends to play with and activities to do. Could I really keep him happy at home? I had no intention of finding a zillion things to do in order to fill every second of every day. After all, that wouldn’t make much of a vacation for me. My life is scheduled to the minute every single day during the school year. There was no way I’d do that to myself during the summer, too.