My Own Slice of Life as a Pretend Teacher
People have always told me that I am different from most because I have known since I was five years old that I wanted to be a teacher. It didn’t take long after being in a school for me to know that’s where I belonged.
In elementary school, my teachers knew that I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up and they gave me extra worksheets and workbooks to take home. One year there was a book sale at my school and my mom bought me teacher’s editions with multiple copies of student textbooks. My mom used to take me to the copy shop a few blocks from my house so that I could pay five cents per copy to make worksheets for when I played school. My dad built me a desk in his garage and hung a huge chalkboard on the back wall. He put in a light over my desk for those late nights when I was up grading papers. One of my favorite Christmas’s was the one when I got an easel and a pointer and everything a teacher could ever need from the teacher’s store. Every kid that lived on my street was unwillingly enrolled in pretend school in my dad’s garage. I set up lawn furniture, crates, and anything else I could get my hands on that resembled a desk for my “students” to sit at and face the chalkboard and listen to me teach. I was the boss and bossy I was when I forced my sister and my friend to set up their classrooms so that my school could expand as the population of kids on my street that needed summer school increased. I loved “teaching” and I knew one day I would have my own classroom.
The funny thing is that now I have my own classroom. I rarely use worksheets. I dislike making copies. I have teacher’s editions but they usually stay in my closet. I no longer have a teacher’s desk and even though there is a chalkboard in my room, I use it to hang things on. I’ve never written on it with chalk. I’m never up late at night grading papers. I don’t use an easel or a pointer in my classroom. I really don’t need much from the teacher’s store. I dislike student desks and would rather see my students sitting comfortably at tables, on the rug, on pillows, or on the couch in my classroom. I’m not the boss of anyone and have found that being bossy gets me nowhere in my classroom.
My real teaching job is nothing like my pretend teaching job. And yet, being in a school is still exactly where I belong.