Saturday, July 08, 2006

Is this my life?

BabyTate continues to grow, smile, and even vocalize. I continue to teach. For the third year in a row I am teaching summer school. I happen to enjoy the session, and it keeps me from spending my hard earned money hitting a little white ball from one side of a fairway to another. Maybe it is my New England Puritanism that keeps me from loafing during the summer, but I am a little sad that I can't spend more time with babyTate, even if she is doing a lot of crying.

I had a conversation with a colleague, he's off to Europe this summer, about where our priorities should be. He told me of his early years in education--well before I was born. He had volunteered to transfer to a new school openning in southern California. As the principal welcomed everyone, he told his new staff that teaching was the most important thing in each of their lives. There should be nothing else that comes before this duty. A veteran teacher of twenty years raised his hand and said, that no, teaching was not more important than family. To which my colleague, a three year veteran at the time (which happens to be what year I just finished), scolded the teaching veteran for his lack of dedication.

Here we are, some thirty years later, and my colleague is telling me, that no, teaching is not more important than family. In fact, he called up the man he chastised a few years ago to apologize. The man replied, "I've been waiting for this call."

My superintendant regularly reminds us that we are doing the world' s most important work; we would be hard pressed to disagree. We all want success, both for our students and ourselves. But at what cost? There are very few times that one will hear me bring up teacher pay, but there are certainly times I consider how lucrative other careers would be. But at the same time, how many of those careers will allow me to spend as much time as I do with babyTate.


At 5:46 PM , Blogger Dennis Fermoyle said...

Mr. McNamar, I don't think there's another job that goes as well with being a parent as teaching. I coached hockey for 32 years, so I was gone a lot in the winters, but then I was able to make up for it in the summers. My wife would work, and I would be Mr. Mom. Great memories!

When my kids came to high school, their life was my life. They went to school, I went to school, they went to hockey practice, I went to hockey practice. I knew who their friends were, and they could never fool me about what was going on in school. I really believed this gave me a great advantage as a parent over people who didn't have the same situation as me.

Everybody used to tell me to enjoy my kids, especially when they're young. They are all grown and out of the house now, and I can tell you that those words are great advice.

At 9:07 AM , Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

I know I can be obssesive abou teaching and education, but I am also so glad I get to spend time with my kids in the summers, even if it is unpaid.

My own baby has suddenly turned into preteen. Hold onto BabyTate, and enjoy every moment until that adoring gaze turns into eye-rolling disbelief at every word you say (kidding!).

But my concern for other people's children, as passionate as that is, cannot overcome my need to attend to my own kids' needs, thus, no summer school for moi, because I think it would make me too grouchy.


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