So now that I'm in 7th grade with my class I'm starting to get questions from people about what I'm going to do when I graduate my class. At our school after your class graduates 8th grade you're basically out of a job. I can't think of another job where you give years of successful, dedicated service only to find yourself out on your ear. Of course there's always the option of applying for the next 1st grade class.
As I contemplate my future I do think about applying for grade 1 when I'm done. All of my own kids will still be at the school, we'll still need tuition, I'll still need a job, so it seems like a logical conclusion. I think I could relate to first graders pretty easily, though it would definitely take a bit of transitioning after being with the older grades for so long.
It's funny, though, as all of these questions come to me I find myself wondering if the people who are asking have an opinion about what I should do when I graduate my class. Would all of the parents of those little first graders be happy to have me as their children's teacher? Do my colleagues respect me enough to rehire me -- especially now that they know my faults?
I was talking with someone just last night about how challenging this job is in so many different ways. It requires so many different skills that you're bound to find your weakness, and have to struggle against it everyday. Of course, this is really what it's all about, but dealing with these weaknesses day in and day out can sure be a blow to the self-esteem. I mean, in many ways I know I'm a good teacher and I love what I do, but there are days when I don't feel like such a fabulous teacher and I question what I'm doing. A mentor once told me that when she started teaching she was just convinced that she was terrible at her job and it was only a matter of time before everyone found out that this was true. I've often felt the same way.
Still, I sometimes find myself looking at those little kindergarteners and wonder if I will be their teacher.