08 July 2006

among GIANTS

This is something I wrote this morning about getting my first teaching job. The theme of Giants may return so watch out. I hope you enjoy.

among GIANTS

My first educated job. I thought I was supposed to feel like a grown up going to a formal interview for my first job with my teaching certificate. Instead I felt like a high schooler, returning to the halls of a lost kingdom and hoping and praying that the whole time I was answering their questions that I wasn’t saying “um” too many times or flaunting any boogers. I felt like a child sitting in the principal’s office waiting to get punished. I was waiting but not to be punished but (little did I know) to be interviewed and shortly afterward hired. I think for everyone but teachers, schools take us back. For some reason they remind us of all the insecurities, all the faults and failures that we had in the roughest part of our life: adolescence. Walking those halls with waxed floors and rows of lockers reminds us of the times we wandered the halls and thought “maybe he’ll go out with me” or “maybe my teacher won’t catch me skipping or coming to class late.” The reason we feel this way is because those halls look and smell the same as they did when we went to school. The Giants are still the same: teachers. They are these mysterious people that somehow have both meekness and a commanding nature about them. They can be kind, caring, and sensitive and they can also blow you over with a puff of their smoke. With one foul swoop of their hand your high school career can be a success or a failure. Emblazoned invisibly on their eyes is a look of power. They can say one comment and you will change your thought process. So here I am. I am supposed to command this nature. I am supposed to be meek and powerful and encouraging all at the same time! And yet, who do I feel like? I feel like a small school child waiting in the office for the approval of the Giants. Who is this kingdom of Giants? Where do they go for training? Who tells them to be this way and how does it work? I think when you are really in the presence of Giants, you begin to understand why you are not one. At least not yet.

Doubt. I begin to doubt myself in every area, much like the schoolchild. Am I worthy of this position? Am I going to do a good job? Will I do myself in by smiling before Christmas? This pathway from schoolchild to Giant is one that has never before been paved by me. It has no specific rule book, just guidelines. It has no wrong or right, just gray. How do I become a Giant? Do I want to become a Giant? It is like Alice in Wonderland when she walks through the doorway. Before, everything is so small and “normal” sized. After she goes through the door, everything is out of whack, and doesn’t have any proportion anymore. That is my life. That is where I live. I have moved in among the Giants.

1 comment:

Kari said...

Good for you Vale! Glad to see you joined us. : ) I think I am still scared of high school kids, just like I was back then. I don't think I've entered a highschool in five years or more. Congrats & good luck on your new job! You better make sure students don't find your blog.....