The First Little Traveler began school in Libya, she went to a British school and came home saying "sweeties" rather than "lollies" and began referring to me as "Mamaaaaaaaaah". A few years later her and the second little traveler were at school in Canada, they learnt all of the provinces and sang the Canadian Anthem in French. The Lollies that became Sweeties were now Candy. Next it was Texas, they pledged allegiance to the flag of the United States of America each morning and talked about Abraham Lincoln with stars in their eyes.
Although each education system was vastly different, there was one commonality. The teachers. Without scanning through photos I can picture each one of their faces now as I type. I can see their classrooms, the little chairs that we squeezed in to for parent/teacher nights. Rooms that began the year looking lifeless and empty and ended jam packed with window decorations and projects. The igloo made of milk containers, the paper mache dragon, the mosaics.
Whenever spending time in a classroom, I always have the same thought upon leaving. After escaping the noise and downing a shot of something strong, I remind myself that I could NEVER be a teacher. I need two headache tablets and a vodka tonic chaser after a field trip to the zoo. I've often sat through math homework wondering how teachers explain, explain and explain some more without the assistance of alcohol. Oh wait, there was the one teacher...
Sure, we've had a couple of teachers that weren't a good match, but I've also had a few doctors, accountants and sales staff that I've felt the same way about. The occasional storm makes you appreciate the smooth sailing.
The second little traveler found her perfect match this year and was beyond excited when she found out Mrs P was pregnant and due in July (her birthday month). I'm not sure what was cuter this week, receiving the email from Mrs P with the picture of her and her seriously cute new baby girl, or watching The Second Little Traveler's face as she studied the picture over and over while reading the message out loud to us all. "Make sure you practice your reading and writing every day, please send me a note and tell me how your holidays are going." Immediately the books came out.
I loved this piece in the Huffington Post this week. I love it because Matt Damon is so obviously proud of his mother, but also it reminded me that teaching is perhaps as much a vocation as it is an occupation.
I couldn't do it.