In the company of teachers

There are lots of good reasons I’m a teacher.  Teaching is fun, and hard, and the only challenge I’ve taken on that seems to me truly inexhaustible.  But the most important reason I’m a teacher is that, after all these years, the people I most want to grow up to be are all teachers too.

When I was younger, I used to wonder how I would be sure my life had a deeper meaning, beyond earning a paycheck and keeping a roof over my head.  I wanted to live a life that was bigger than that, but I wondered how one could know what that really meant.

On Friday, I found myself standing in the school parking lot in the dark after the spring concert with three people I love.  We are all teachers, and all deeply enmeshed in different ways in the life of the school beyond the classroom.  It was 9:30, and we were all getting ready to go home and fall into bed.  We were all a little muted by exhaustion, all a little giddy with pride for the girls, who did a great job, and all a little out of sorts after a week of the inescapable wrangling over details that constitutes the other half of the work of the School. The other three are all older than me–between 10 and 40 years so.  They are, each in her own way, fundamentally and unapologetically themselves, which is harder than it sounds. They are all comfortable with blurry lines and not fazed by tears.

They’re my friends:  I take them for granted most of the time.  But Friday night, I found myself looking at these three strong women again and thinking, ‘I am proud to be in their company.’  If I can stand on an equal footing with women like this, then I have done something in my life.


About wordsarestrong

I teach history at an independent school in California.
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