Thursday, February 4, 2021

Most of us have no business being anywhere near a classroom full of kids

My niece Mallory turns 30 today, which in itself is a time to step back and reflect on your own mortality. When your little baby niece is 30, that must mean you're...well, considerably older.

She is a third-grade teacher, which makes her a superhero in my book.

(It can be argued, by the way, that we as a society throw the "superhero" or just plain "hero" designation around a little too freely. But I count as a hero anyone who does a job society needs but that I would never in a million years take on. Soldiers, teachers, custodial staff, etc. Who's going to do their jobs? You? Me? No? Well, then, they're heroes.)

Anyway, she spends her days teaching often-unruly 8- and 9-year-olds, which even in the best of times isn't an easy task and has to be 10 times more difficult in this age of the pandemic.

I have been told I could and even should have been an educator.

I don't know what people base this on, but I am not nearly as tough, smart, or dedicated as the people for whom teaching is a calling.

Going into classrooms as a guest speaker, as I have done a number of times, is one thing.

Coming up with lesson plans and doing it day after day after day after day? That is quite another, thank you.

And trust me here: It ain't as if these folks are getting rich.

There is a small sliver of the population that has the brains and the mental and emotional disposition to teach. And to them I say, thank you for your service.

I would have given up within six months of taking the job.

Oh, and happy birthday, Mal!

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