I want to be a role model

Posted on May 4, 2013 by

I was reading Hearthie’s latest post and pondering. I’ve been despairing a bit lately, although I take pains to not let on. It’s been hard to bid farewell to homeschooling, our co-op and our catechism classes. I’ll truly miss teaching children. But it’s become increasingly clear to me that my family’s path leads to Europe, so that’s where we’re heading. I’m trying to trust in Providence and keep a cheerful face for my family.

I’ll still be tutoring mine with their schoolwork, but the rest of the time I’ll be homemaking and studying, eventually working full-time again. But studying what, precisely? This is always my conundrum; the torture of being good at everything, but having no particular interest in anything.

But I do have an interest, one that I never suspected before, as I’m not exactly an extrovert or the sort of cuddly woman normally drawn to the profession. As I’ve matured, I’ve come increasingly to the realization that I enjoy teaching. Not just for its own sake, but for the interaction I have with the students.

I want to be a role model.

I know that they all look up to me — yes, even the boys — and that I’m both mildly distant and surprisingly relatable. That’s why most people read what I write — they feel like they know me and they want to know what I feel. They want to know what I think. They want me to teach them. Sometimes they disagree with me, but I’m never truly dull. Even the people who dislike me keep coming back for more reasons to be outraged.

I’ve sort of slid into teaching, a smidgen at a time. While I was still working full-time, I moved from true engineering to the training of engineers. Not because I “couldn’t do” engineering, but because it’s so rare to find someone who “can do” engineering who is also lively, sympathetic, and entertaining. What do you get when you cross a computer nerd and a cheerleader? Me, I suppose.

And then I started homeschooling because both of my children were really struggling to properly develop. I was determined to spare them the ravages of full-time public school, at least while they were very young and delicate. And spare them, I did. They’re doing surprisingly well, exceedingly all expectations. As is my ironic custom, I’ve done my work so well that I’ve made myself obsolete. I don’t mind them reentering the general school population now, as long as the school is decent.

But what to do while they’re in school? I guess I’ll go back to school myself, and perhaps become a high school math and science teacher. They’re always looking for those, and I did quite well in this trial run. We’ll see.

Posted in: Education