School is nearly over for the year and summer break is about to become reality in our home. This means I will be surrounded by seven children morning-noon-night until August, when they return to school. ***insert sarcastic comments at your leisure***
As I think about all the knowledge they are about to purge from their little minds, I am left recalling all the summer breaks I experienced in my youth. And, I wonder even more how I managed to retain any of it. Of course, you have undoubtedly heard me say it before, I have already forgotten more than my children will ever learn. But, even so, I am concerned about just how much they will forget.
This leaves me thinking about the teachers they have had for the last 2 to 10 years. Are they teachers who made an impact on their lives? Not just because they did their job, but because they went above and beyond, doing more than just the average bear. Did any of them teach my children life skills and lessons they will carry forever? Will my children remember them?
Funny enough, I immediately started thinking of all the teachers I have had in my life and which of them had the most impact on me. I realized, I can't remember 99% of their names, although there are a great many faces, classes, and lessons I recall.
So, why is that? Am I a horrible person?
Let me answer that. No. I'm not. Maybe I'm an oddity, but none of them impacted me all that much. I was, however greatly impacted by the daily anxiety of going to school, the bullying I received day in and day out for at least 7 years straight. None of those teachers were there for me. And, sadly, many - if not most of them - virtually encouraged it by simply ignoring it.
Ok. So, maybe they all impacted me... While teaching me the basic skills I would use in life (math, english, science, history, etc), they also taught me to be afraid, to not trust, and I still feel anxiety simply driving by a school, nevermind actually setting foot in one. An impossibility to avoid when you have as many children as I have.
Thankfully, the teachers who make the most impact on our lives are not the ones who get paid to shove as much knowledge as humanly possible down the throats and into minds of our children in 9 months. It's no wonder they can't remember where they put their shoes on a daily basis.
The true teachers in our lives are the ones who help guide us into being, by the grace of the Universe, good, decent, caring and competent adults. And, by their lessons, we in turn learn to become teachers ourselves.
Who are the teachers I remember most? Well, my parents of course. The teaching job that never ends. Then, the teachers I remember most are every bully, every ex boyfriend and girlfriend, every former employer, and every single person involved in the lessons I have learned in my lifetime.
But, in the end, the question still lingers. Who are the teachers that have impacted me the most?
Well, that one is simple.
My children... The most unwitting teachers of all.
If they only knew they outnumbered us "old folk," they could rule the world.