My family wonders why I never became a teacher. Given my love for school from Kindergarten onward and my strong background in Language Arts, it might've seemed a given that I would become an English major or get an Ed. degree and become a teacher. I've said, for most of my adult life (and all through my adolescence) that I don't want kids. I've got about a decade left before having kids becomes difficult but I'm perfectly content to let others have the children. My sister knows I'm going to be the crazy aunt with the cats who scares the neighbourhood kids etc, etc.... I've been lucky to turn my love of reading into a job where I can share my love and knowledge with those who really could use it.
My experiences in the school library system are not numerous yet, but I've been around long enough to see the WHY (as in, why I never became a teacher) of this whole thing. I'm not knocking teachers and EA's -- they have difficult but (for the most part) rewarding jobs, and I applaud their mountains of patience. I just do not have the patience for it. I learned that when I was trying to help my sib with her homework eons ago. I was not a very patient person then. I don't lay these experiences at the foot of adolescence, either. I don't think I'd be very good with kids nowadays, either. My motto is 'As long as they aren't mine, I'm fine.'
A parent from the Parent Council came in with her year-old to do some work in the library at one of the schools. I tried to keep the little girl busy with the board books my predecessor kept for the Kindergarteners. The parent noticed and complimented me as being good with children. She asked the question I sometimes get when I do well with kids. 'Do you have any children?' My immediate (though unspoken) answer is 'God forbid!' I usually smile and shake my head. Makes one wonder why I got into the school library system, eh? It is a little frustrating when you have a half dozen kids asking for your attention, but I think I'm getting better at keeping myself in check. It isn't like I'm snapping at the yard-apes yet. Give me a few years...
Anyway, I had an experience today at one of the schools that brought everything into focus for me. A couple of EA's routinely bring in some of the Special Needs students to the library to work on Math or Reading. I know almost all these students on sight, which I consider to be a minor triumph in itself. Anyway, I was working at my computer and occasionally listening to this group's progress. One of the EA's had the patience of Job, as her student was just constantly getting stuck in quicksand and stumbling along. I know, if it had been me as the EA, I would've submitted my resignation without too much thought. Then again, what would I be doing as an EA?
Being a Library Tech. in the school library system brings me close enough to the action without going through the whole mess of teaching, and that's as close to the action as I want to be. Thank you.