I like kids and spending time around kids. I went to college and majored in Spanish mainly because I had alot of credits in Spanish after traveling and living abroad in Spain. Since I loved athletics and wanted to coach I decided to become a teacher because back when I was in College you had to be a teacher to be a Head High School Coach. Besides, the only other thing most people with a major in Spanish did was major in business and I wasn’t interested in business.
Funny how things turn out in life.
The reason I’m writing about this today is because sometimes I act as a substitute teacher at Cook County Schools. Today was one of those days. The rare occurrence was a student asking me about my life. Kids are usually so cemented in their own world that adults are of little importance to them. The fact an adult had a life prior to becoming an adult usually doesn’t dawn on them. Even if it was a tactic to keep from doing school work it was refreshing to be asked a question and listened to.
I told her I finished my Student Teaching and graduated with a degree but never actually worked as a teacher. When she asked why I hadn’t become a teacher I explained we had moved up here right after my graduation and that I wasn’t passionate about teaching kids Spanish. I told her I didn’t want to be in a classroom teaching kids something they probably wouldn’t use when kids had bigger things to deal with. I said I would rather just be there as a friend or to help a kid. Then she asked why I hadn’t become a counselor or some sort of advocate for kids?
This was such a strange conversation to have with a 16-year old girl. She found out more about me in a quick conversation then many of my friends who have known me for years know about me. It made me think about life.
It brought to mind a conversation I had with my daughter a year ago. They were asked in school if they thought their parents were doing what they “wanted” to be doing or what they had “dreamed” about doing. To my amazement most of the kids thought their parents were. I told her to ask her friends to ask their parents because I would be surprised if many of the parents were doing what they wanted to be doing. Then she asked what I would be doing and I said I’d either be a rock star or a professional volleyball player.
Don’t get me wrong, I love outfitting people on canoe trips but it was never anything I thought I would be doing. Some people think they are going to be professional athletes but become garbage truck drivers. Others might dream about being a doctor but end up working as an administrative assistant. Most people sell themselves short or get caught up with life thinking they will make a switch later in life but never do.
What is my point? I don’t know. It was a rare occurrence and I thought I would share it.