I come from a teaching family, and I always just assumed I would grow up and carry that tradition forward. Luckily for me, I didn’t have to because my little brother has it covered. Because that nervous energy you talked about feeling? I felt that, or something like it (more panic attack than anticipatory jitters, methinks) EVERY SINGLE MORNING before school. My own children (unborn then) are now in 10th and 5th grade, and I still get that pang of panic upon entering a public school building, whether for a science fair or parent-teacher conference or any other reason at all.

I tried: I taught in a rural Alaskan village during the ’99 and 2000 school years, and then moved to town and taught 5th grade in 2001. The whole experience was terrifying for me. I can honestly say I hated it. And felt like such a failure for hating it. And finally, accepted that I hated it and then realized me leaving the profession was the best gift I could give any future potential students, because my heart would never be all the way in. And kids deserve educators who invest significant time and energy into shaping them, and who do that because they love doing that.

That’s why I’m glad there are people out there who truly are called to teach. You sound like you may be one of them. And while I definitely wish you much luck in your writing career, a part of me hopes you aren’t really finished in the classroom, because I imagine you were a fantastic teacher and the world will always need more of those. ❤

I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I know I want it to be spelled right and punctuated correctly. I guess that’s something.

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