I used to teach Biology in a Secondary school. And I enjoyed it. The buzz you get being able to teach a difficult concept, and have the kids understand it. The sense of achievement seeing the students struggle and grow and learn, as they worked their way through SYFs, science research, exams, and whatever else school life threw at them. The infectious energy that cannot help but spread to you whenever you walked into a classroom. The wonderful colleagues who were also my friends.
Yes, there were challenges too. Having to teach an entire level of 14 year old boys about human reproduction (they were very enthusiastic about the topic of course, and that was probably the ONLY chapter in the textbook that they ever read BEFORE the lesson was conducted... however, the spelling of "uterus", "urethra" and "ureter" managed to confuse quite a few of them). Having to deal with all sorts of disciplinary issues (once, the boys apparently smuggled out a heart after a dissection lesson, and tried to throw it up at the fan). There was the long hours, staying back to lock up the band room. There was the non-stop work, and marking and additional meetings and extras.
But I did find the work fulfilling. At least the teaching part of it. It was fun, teaching plant reproduction and having fruit parties in class, where the kids even brought along durians. It was amazing seeing the students grow up and graduate. It was fulfilling, teaching a subject that I loved, explaining about how everything was made just so.
And now? I still teach, but my class size has shrunk to two. And I no longer just teach Biology, I have to teach so many other things. Each day is spent teaching lessons in patience, in obedience, while I myself learn those lessons of being patient and being obedient. Each day is spent teaching little things like being kind, and doing the right thing and how to say "I'm sorry" when you're wrong.
While I sometimes miss the energy and the buzz from the regular classrooms, I am thankful that learning isn't confined to the classrooms and to textbooks.
I am grateful that while life is a whole lot messier and dirtier than before, I am there to witness each and every milestone achieved.
I am thankful that while each day brings non-stop cleaning, and breaking up fights and soothing bumps and disciplining little ones who don't seem to register anything that you're saying... each day also brings little mercies that make staying home not a burden, but a joy: the singing and dancing with wild abandon, the silly antics that bring laughter, the hugs and the "I love you"s.
While I miss the financial independence, the sense of fulfillment from work, having time apart from kids and home... I am thankful that I've had this privilege to stay home, and I am grateful for the hubby's support. It's certainly is a blessing to be able to be at home and witness your kids grow up. After all, these years would be gone in a flash, and I want to be there while they happen.
What are you thankful for?
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