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Teachers and Poets (aka my hopes and dreams)

February 21, 2010


This guy’s name is Taylor Mali.  He is one of my newest heroes.

I have always wanted to be a teacher.  As soon as I stepped into my first Kindergarten class and Mrs. Knight dried my tears, I just knew.  These people have the amazing job of getting to explain the world to newcomers, and inviting them to explore it to new depths.  Teachers have something, some knowledge or experience, something so valuable, so irreplaceable, that I knew I wished to be part of their number.

Like Lilly Like Wilson:

Call me a silly, naive girl, for thinking that teachers ever get any appreciation or romanticizing the idea of education.   I went to public schools, I know what demons students, administrators, and parents can be.  I know that there are some students who will refuse to be taught, that there will be some that I cannot help.  I think the hardest part about being a teacher will be not knowing if I ever do any good with my students, and keeping myself motivated and energetic even when I don’t think I’m doing any good for anyone. 

I’m naturally an energetic, hopeful person.  I just don’t want that to get sucked away in the sometimes heartless  institution of public school.

But when I think about what I’ll get to do everyday, exploring authors and art and verse, and helping to bring a new generation of people into the love and understanding that I feel towards these things… I think it’s worth it to try.


Oh, yeah.  That’s Mr. Feeney.  You know you love it.

Hopefully I’ll be able to teach at a collegiate level, but I don’t know if that will work out or not.  Who knows?  I might not even become a teacher.  I might be a museum curator… or a writer… or own a small flower shop on the east side of town… or an adventurer… or maybe even a mom. 

Sometimes I play out my life in my head, Wonder Years style, as if I were watching a movie.  Sometimes I see myself as a grand adventurer, travelling the world and having exotic romances with men from every place I go.  Sometimes I think of my future in a museum, having conversations about art with the world when it comes to see me.  But when I see myself as a high school English teacher, I always come home to a sweet, smiling man, two muddy teenage boys and an even muddier adolescent girl.  Sampson (my black lab) bounds towards me with a goofy grin on his face.  It’s not terribly adventurous or unique… but it’s mine.  My little dream. 

I think I could be happy with any of these futures.  It’s just strange to think how close this all is for me… Just a few years.

Anyway, no matter where I go or who I become, I will always love teachers for inspiring me to become someone with passion and intellect. 

And I will love Taylor Mali.  Because he’s a badass.

Speak with conviction:

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