Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Why Did You Become A Teacher?

I get that question a lot. And whether it's family, friends, students, or other teachers, I always struggle with the answer. There are several reasons for this. Most often the question is asked casually. It's hard for me to answer in the spirit which the question was asked. This is not a casual subject for me. I always suffer a flash of resentment when asked about this subject in that manner. It's like asking me "why did you marry your wife?" If you don't know, it's probably none of your business. That is not a question you ask in passing. I also know that the link between those two decisions, the one to become a teacher and the one to get married, are equally personal to me, they do not appear that way to an observer. My employer has every right to ask me why I became a teacher. My students have every right to do likewise. I still don't like the question. It's like explaining to someone why I married the woman I did. Even if I know you, even if the person who asked me is a friend, the answer is hard to put into words. So I thought I might try using pictures.

The effect will be the same regardless. If you don't know me, if you don't have the context, these images will mean nothing more than the words I would have used in their place, if I bothered to answer you at all. If you know me, you already know at least some of the answer. And if you're curious?