While I do not necessarily feel that I was born to teach, I do feel that I was born to live the academic life.
From the time I was a junior in college and constantly asked the proverbial question, “So, what do you want to do when you graduate?” I would answer —- I would love to be a professional student. See, I have always loved to learn. I never really enjoyed the assessments, and I truly hated the standardized tests, but I was born to be a life-long learner.
It only took me about two decades after my college graduation to realize that teachers are indeed professional students. And I have been quite blessed to have the opportunity to pursue this vocation, despite my lack of qualifications.
But aside from the learning aspect of this profession, I have come to the conclusion that my internal clock is based on the academic year. Oh sure, I celebrate December 31st with the traditional toast and the obligatory list of resolutions, but I consider my TRUE New Year’s Eve today —- the last day of summer before another academic year begins.
I will get little sleep tonight – not from worry, but from great anticipation of what this new year will hold. I will meet new students and become reacquainted with past students. And as far as I am concerned, we all start with a clean slate – myself included. Mistakes of the past are behind us, and a bright future lies ahead.
And for the first time in several years I feel as though I am teaching only the classes that I am well-equipped to teach – and it feels DIVINE! I will no longer be donning my “super teacher” cape with nine preps a week, but I will reap the benefits of time leftover to pursue personal interests. And while I know that this year won’t be perfect – there will certainly be frustrations along the way – I also know that this year feels right.
Yes, today is somewhat bittersweet, as I do enjoy my summer freedom – but tomorrow will begin a new chapter in life – and that is worth a stomach full of butterflies.