I am a teacher, although I never wanted to be one. I did not grow up playing school. I was more into Barbies. In elementary school I aspired to be an archaeologist nun. In high school, a forensic pathologist. One of my teachers senior year suggested that I become a teacher because I have nice handwriting (as if that was all it takes!) and I remember thinking, "No way!"
But, at the age of seven, Sophie knows she wants to be a teacher. She's been saying this since she was in pre-school. In fact, that was when we discovered her uncanny ability to mimic her teachers' voices, speech patterns and idiosyncrasies. On so many occasions, I have discovered what went on in her classroom, as she came home and re-enacted it in her own "classroom."
She observes and absorbs everything her teachers say and do. A couple weeks ago, I had a teacher work day, where I had to go to school, but would have no students. As I was getting ready, Sophie took in my outfit for the day. I was wearing jeans, but with a nice shirt and a necklace. She said, "Mom, why are you dressing up today when there's not going to be anyone to admire you?" At first this made me laugh, but then I realized that she only said that because that's how she feels about her teachers: she admires them.
I love being a teacher. I don't know why I never considered it before college, but it is the perfect career for me. It's fun, yet challenging. It's fulfilling and rewarding in so many ways. And, it allows me to be a life-long learner in the subjects that I most love. If Sophie does end up becoming a teacher, I hope that she finds as much joy in this career as I have. But, if she chooses to be an archaeologist nun, I'll be just as supportive.
A few months ago, I got a new sweater. I was trying it on when Sophie said, "Oh Mom, you look like a teacher in that sweater!"
"Sophie, I am a teacher."
"Oh right, I mean you look like Mrs. Claypool."