This is where I ate my lunch today during my second break between classes.
Besides the naked child wandering away from his tourist parents and the yelling between two groups of beach goers over whether one of them was a “Kiwi C-word” I managed to sit and relax listening to the sounds of The OC Mix 5 (one of my all time favourite albums) and realize how incredibly lucky I was to be essentially starting fresh in such a wonderful place at a university where I can leave my class on a 45 degree day and step into the best smelling sea breeze in the world.
One of the reflective questions given by my Planning, Pedagogy and Assessment (yep that’s a mouthful) tutor today was “What are the reasons that you have chosen to become a teacher?”
As the rest of the class fell into silence writing their responses, it occurred to me that I hadn’t actually actively said “I want to teach.” And in a way I suppose I never really wanted to, even though I have been very lucky with the teachers that have taught me and have almost a million (actual fact) relatives and friends who went into the profession. I won’t lie, when I was first leaving school I considered it only for the benefit of all those holidays; I can’t bear the thought of having just four weeks off a year and am awe of people who survive like that, yet more evidence that I am lucky/spoiled. But as my uni studies progressed and I buried myself deeper in the worlds of Westeros, of Phillip Marlowe and Bilbo Baggins, and Hercule Poirot I realized just how much I love and thrive in the world of words and stories, and that my dream was not to be a world famous journalist but simply to be able to spend all day talking about books. All my friends know how excited I get when they’ve finally finished a book I’ve read and I get the opportunity to pepper them with questions about it. What did they like about it, who did they most hate, what part made you have a physical reaction (one of my all time favourite things about reading is when a book makes me cry or actually Laugh Out Loud, or throw it down in disgust or shock accompanied by a loud “no way,” which happened the most emphatically at the end of A Dance With Dragons). Even when I come across people on the bus, and it has happened before when I was reading On The Road, I have been able to share the reading experience with them and be constantly amazed that no matter how different people are they are linked through space and time by the books that they read. It excites me to think that a book I first read when I was 13 and that was first published in the 1950s can be enjoyed by kids now, and in the future.
So to answer my tutor’s question, I don’t think I have necessarily chosen to be a teacher. I have chosen to spend my life (hopefully) showing teenagers the world of literature not just through books but music and movies, and sharing with them my passion and excitement for it which I hope manages to rub off just a tiny bit.
And now I am off to my final class of the day, and most anticipated, English!