Outside the Classroom

For as long as I can remember, I have been told that I should be a teacher.  Everyone, from my own teachers to my family, has branded me an educator at one time or another.  I believe that education is the single most valuable field of work.  A teacher molds young minds (and sometimes old ones) and because of that I have always held the profession in high regard.

I have had some pretty phenomenal teachers and professors in my day. Theirs are voices I still hear advising me along the way. And, ironically, I feel as though I’ve steered away from the profession for that very reason.  Am I capable of that sort of impact? Is teaching for me? Not in the traditional sense.

The idea of standing in front of 20-30 students is, quite frankly, a bit intimidating. I’ve been the camp counselor, day care administrator, after school team leader.  I even gave it a test drive when I taught an autobiography writing workshop to 8, 9, and 10 year olds.  But they were all roles where I could teach and mentor to smaller groups without the label or the pressure.

I recently read a tweet by Louis Farrakhan that said “When we are truly educated, we are led out from darkness into light, from ignorance into wisdom, from weakness into strength.” When you look at education from that lens, it does not have to take place in a classroom.

Good writers are teachers too.  When someone sits down to read your words, they should absolutely learn something. Even if it is just learning a little more about you through the page.

I guess you can tell all those people who wanted me to be a teacher that they’ve gotten their wish.  As I begin a career as a writer,  I’ve become a teacher after all.

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