Thea reaches for the marker and starts to write her ABCs on the whiteboard behind her. She is with me in school today for take your daughter to work and has been thinking hard the last few minutes.
“When the kids come back I’m going to teach them their ABCs…” she states, as if this is the most brilliant idea ever.
So I tell her it is time to go and she furiously scribbles a few more letters on the board. We get the kids, they settle in, and Thea marches to the front of the room as if she was born to be there. She waits and then points to a letter. “Umm, what’s this one?” she says. Hands shoot up as the kids grin. “You!” she points to one of my students who gets it right and Thea quickly tells them good. The next five minutes Thea is the teacher.
I stand back, feeling my heart break and swell at the same time. I have joked with others about how Thea wants to be a teacher and today she has once again shown me that it seems to be in her nature. That teaching may just be her calling as well.
I want to shake the dream out of her head. I want to stop her from becoming a teacher, from choosing this profession that can be so life consuming. I want to stop her from picking a job that will mean working the longest days for little pay. That will mean worrying at night about things out of your control. Worrying about test scores and politicians and how they will affect your life. Worrying about whether the parents like you, whether the students are learning, and whether you are truly prepared. Whether you are everything you say you are.
My little girl wants to teach. She wants to be a part of a life that changes the lives of others. She wants to be an influencer, someone who molds and shapes. She wants to make a difference by helping others become what they dream to be. She wants to teach and I couldn’t be prouder.
I couldn’t be happier. Even knowing she will face heartbreak. Even though I know she will have days where she wants to pull out her hair, shut the door, and give up – she wants to teach. She wants to be a part of that. She wants to change the world. She wants to make a difference. For now anyway.
She wants to teach. And the world will be better for it. So why should I stand in her way?
I am a passionate (female) 5th grade teacher in Wisconsin, USA, proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children. I have no awards or accolades except for the lightbulbs that go off in my students’ heads every day. First book “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classroom Back to Our Students Starting Today” can be pre-bought now from Powerful Learning Press. Follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.