once a teacher...

I found myself in the airport the other day, returning from my Nashville trip. I was playing with Blythe and the four kids in the family next to us were quite interested in my cute daughter. I asked them their ages and, per the usual, the oldest son told me, speaking for his three younger siblings, "I'm 7, he's 5, Sofia's 4 and Zoe's 2." 

"I'm the only one in school," he continued.

"Nuh-uh, I'm in school too," piped up the other boy smiling at Blythe. 

"He just goes to preschool…" the eldest continued. 

Sensing a little fight brewing I chimed in, "Well did you know I'm a teacher?" 

And then my brain caught up. Nuh-uh, Kels, you're not any more. 

"Oh, what do you teach?" The mom decided to join our conversation. 

I didn't want to seem like a crazy lady that was talking to her innocent children, so instead of saying, "Oh, actually, I'm not anymore. I lied to your 7 and 5 year old sons," I said, "High school Language Arts." And then melted into my seat. 

I don't even really know how it happened, but it did. I wasn't ashamed of being a stay at home mother, as for all I know this woman traveling in the middle of the week with her 4 kids could have very easily been one too. But "I'm a teacher" was just engrained on my tongue in moments like that. 

I returned home, avoiding lying to anyone else on the plane, and returned to life as usual. This morning I went and filled up my car and while at the gas station I heard, "MRS. I…!!" I turned and saw a former student of mine walking my way, waving a piece of paper. 

I had taught this student for two years, his  sophomore and junior year. At the end of his sophomore year he had given me a piece of folded up notebook paper that simply said, "THANK YOU FOR LISTENING ."

"Guess what I just got?! My college acceptance letter! I got in!" 

I proceeded to congratulate him, tell him how wonderful it was, ask him about the school and what his major would be. 

And then we were both off on our separate paths again. 

And I realized I hadn't really lied to the family in the airport. I'm still a teacher of sorts. It's still in me. 


MW Photo said...

You absolutely ARE a teacher! You will forever be a teacher. It's your gift! Whether or not you are employed by a school is irrelevant - you have learned and trained to teach, and that will always be a part of who you are and what you naturally do. (And an EXCELLENT one, at that! :)

Sharon said...

MW said it beautifully and is absolutely right! And you are the BEST kind of teacher. One that still cares about her students, long after they are out of your classroom. It is your gift. And I think God was just reminding you of that at the gas station this morning. :)