I’m not sure how it happened. You know how it goes, don’t you? When something sneaks up on you and boom, takes over your life, your being, your heart and your soul. That’s sort of how it was for me. One day, I was just me. Next thing I knew, I was someone who was beyond myself and out into the world.
Because that’s what a teacher does. They give a part of themselves to the world. Every time they get into the classroom, they leave something of themselves behind (and, kid yourself not, they take something with them — and many times, I feel I learn more than I teach — for teaching is also learning), they leave a little bit of knowledge to a world of so many unknowns.
They leave words, sentence, numbers, strategies, laughs. Being the daughter of professors, I could never have imagined teaching was passed through the blood. I could never have imagined, as I struggled through Law School and Philosophy, that the teaching fever coursed through my veins. But it doesn’t make me ill, it makes me alive.
Sometimes, as I look at my students, who often remind me so much of myself, and I wonder what I would have done then, if a beloved teacher had told me: “That’s who you’re going to be.” (I’d probably have said, “You’re out of your mind!”) But I was the one who was out of my mind, then.
But I seem to have found my way. Or rather, my way seems to have found me. Because one thing I’ve always heard about teachers is that you don’t become a teacher. The teacher becomes you. And, boy, once it does, there’s no turning back.