I miss teaching.
I've pretty much done it all in the realm of education; I've taught preschool, elementary, jr. high (oh, never again), high school, and college. The truth is, middle school excepted, I enjoyed every age: the innocence of elementary, the trembling, unsteady coming-into-their-own of 9th graders, and the uncertain eagerness of the college freshman. It's the last that's stolen my professional heart.
I've fallen in love with college freshmen. I can't teach any other grade and love it as much, not possible. For one, there's an autonomy to the university classroom that's just not there anywhere else. No principals or teachers in the next room over just one paper-thin wall away-- It's you and the kids.
And some of them are brilliant. Oh, sure you get a few slackers, but most of them are paying to be here (or their parents are), and they want to succeed. I won't even hesitate to admit that some of my students were superior writers, and I encouraged them every way I knew how, only asking for one mention in the "dedicated to" portion of their sure-to-be bestsellers. ^_~
It's been about a year since I was in the college classroom-- I took a year off to do an assistantship to pay for my last year of grad school, backward, I know. Usually the adjunct position pays for grad school, but this time, I'm doing a journalism assistantship, getting a glimpse at writing for a living. (It's not pretty folks! Run, RUN WHILE THERE'S STILL TIME!) But that's another post.
I miss telling my "kids" to pull out a proverbial carpet square because I'm going to read to them. I miss hearing their amazing counterpoints to my devil's advocate, the way they change my mind right along with their own sometimes.
I miss it. The hum, the thrill the light. I'm trying to get back into it, and though I'm actually more qualified than I was before, the job market has closed up, and I find myself unsure.
Like an unsteady, eager (though possibly frighteningly unprepared?) college freshman.