I have a student teacher for the next few months. It's an interesting position to be in: to be leaving the profession while trying to guide someone into getting into it. He knows that I'm not much longer for the teaching world.
Yesterday he had a total meltdown. Epic variety. The same meltdown that every teacher has had at least once: where he wondered if he was meant to teach and thought about quitting but couldn't quite manage to quit because of that pesky work ethic. Been there, done that. He came back today and had a much better day, which is typically what happens in the teaching world.
The struggle for me is to convince him that teaching is a fantastic profession; that it is noble and valuable and rewarding and that if you are a good teacher you absolutely should be in the classroom..........without convincing myself of it. Trust me, I'm quite a persuasive person. And when I talk to him I think "I'm right. Teaching IS fantastic." And then I wonder why I'm leaving. And I mean really why I'm leaving...because I don't think I'm completely being honest with myself about that. I think a part of me wants out because if I stay in teaching much longer then it means that I'm really getting older. I don't know. There's something there, for sure. But when I tell him that I love to teach, I'm not lying. All of the things I say about teaching--the good things--are true. So why am I leaving?