I turned to my student who stood before me. “What’s up?” I asked, putting aside the papers I’d been correcting.
“Did you always want to be a teacher?”
I sat back in my chair. “Why do you want to know this?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know. I’ve just always wondered.”
I took a deep breath. Now, just how to answer this? Should I be honest? It would probably be much more fun to tell him that I’d considered becoming a mortician or perhaps a professional food taster.
I went with honesty.
I went with honesty.
“No, I could get another job if I had wanted to. In fact, wanted to be an author…or maybe a movie director.”
“Really? Can teachers do that?”
“Yep, it’s perfectly legal.”
My student walked away, shaking his head saying something like, “Whoa…I didn’t know that.”
It was this small conversation which brings me to today’s blog…just why did I choose teaching out of all of the professions I could have for my life? I’ve thought about that question quite a bit over the years to tell you the truth. I believe it stems back about forty or fifty years ago when I was a missionary. I had been sent to
Missouri with the idea that I would return to Washington after two years and become a successful author, touring around the to promote my new books and to do signings. Of course, there’d be the world premieres of movies my books had been adapted into…in fact, I had already completed over half of a screenplay for “Take the Long Way Home.” United States
Yes, I was going to be famous.
While living in Poplar Bluff (Pop-lar bluff…not Pop-U-lar Bluff) one of my friends and I started volunteering at
. My friend and I helped out in many different classrooms from 1-6th grades, however, it was here that I became acquainted with Ruth Trotter, first grade teacher extraordinaire. Sacred Heart Catholic School
I wish there were words to express how I felt in the presence of this woman. She was nothing short of amazing.
I looked forward to working each week with the kids at SH, but none more than the 1stgraders of Mrs. Trotter’s classroom. On every visit I’d be tutoring kids on Math facts, fluency, or reading aloud to them. It was a
of each week for me, and the more time I spent in Mrs. Trotter’s presence, the more I began to realize that I loved teaching. high point
When I was moved to another area (after 9 months) I couldn’t foget the experiences I’d had in working with students and how much fun it was. When I came home another 9 months later, I enrolled in college to finish my general education classes. When thinking of career paths which I might follow, only one stood out.
People have often asked me why I decided to become a teacher. I’d often joke that it was for the big money to be made, and all of the single female teachers. It really isn’t though. It’s for the students I get to see grow on a daily basis. Some of these kids take a little bit longer than others, but I see nearly all of them grow and change. They come into my classroom as little kids, and leave as middle-schoolers.
I will forever be thankful to the teachers I’ve had in my life which made a positive impact on me.…Otamay Hushing, Robin Flickinger, Sherri Frizzell, Ed Mooney, and most importantly, Ruth Trotter. As I look back on old photos of my first days as a teacher, I think of these kids who are now much older than they were as 3rd or 4th graders. I think of these students, who one day, when somebody asks them, “Who was your favorite teacher?” Will respond…
Thanks, Mrs. Trotter.
My friends, Jan and Hazen.
One of my "first" teaching experiences.
Father Mike McDivitt, Hazen, and I.
Sacred Heart Catholic School.