Thursday, October 18, 2007

I Would Do it for Free

Before I ever set foot in a junior high school classroom, I pretty much thought anyone who chooses to teach junior high is a little strange to begin with and spending too much time with 12 and 13 year olds only magnifies those...uh...interesting personality traits. To be honest, I was slightly afraid of the Junior High child. People in that age group have such an unpredictable way at going through life. One never knows what will be blurted from the mouth of a junior higher. We all went through that awkward time in life, some more gracefully than others, and can remember the "weirdness" that took over our personalities for awhile. I've never sought out to revisit that particular time in my life and didn't really want to be reminded of it by seeing too many junior highers at once and certainly not on a regular basis.

That being said, I'll admit I was a little excited about teaching a knitting much that I didn't quite stop to think that I would be stepping into the world of Junior Highers.

I've taught the Knitting class for two quarters now. I see junior highers every day (the class count averages between 16-18). As with most situations in life, my fears of what it would be like were much worse than reality. I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of the time the students are actually quite nice, somewhat intelligent, occasionally really mature, and on most days charming and endearing.

After the first few weeks of teaching the class, I was amazed at how much fun it was to teach knitting to junior highers. I would talk about it every day at home to my husband. "This student said this," or "so-n-so learned how to purl," etc. It seemed I should not be having so much fun at work, after all work is supposed to be work. But it was all my husband could bear when I announced one evening that this job is so fun that I WOULD DO IT FOR FREE!!!

Since then, it has been the question in our home,regarding any task or job that one might do, "Would you do it for free?" My 12 year old son is in search of finding that magical job that my husband would do for free. Frankly I would wish that everyone (especially those I love and hold dear to my heart) could find that great job in life that is so fulfilling and fun, that they would gladly do it, just because it's great.

I love knitting and I find an immense amount of satisfaction in passing on the talent and skill to another, especially a young person.

Especially a junior higher.


Anonymous said...

This is an awesome lesson. The idea that we should all find something we love so much we would do it for free. To me this is a definition of success. Find something you love so much that doing it for pay is a bonus. Of course I'm sure your boss would never hold this over your head :) Teaching our children is only partly about the content. The bigger lesson, the one they will always remember, is the life lessons created with the relationships you facilitate in your classroom everyday. Ten years from now what they remember is how you cared about them and encouraged their growth. Truly priceless the power of a teacher.

Wendy said...

Thank you Anonymous!! Your comment made my day!