posted on Apr, 3 2007 @ 06:15 PM
I'd like to think that a certain amount of idealism is involved. To some people doing the right thing is more important than career success. I had a
teacher, who I will just call Paul for the sake of his privacy, who was an outstanding example. He taught math and an state-version of the JROTC
(military cadets), and he put a ridiculous amount of time into his students. he tutored during the lunch hour, he took his cadets on trips on a lot of
the weekends when he wasn't training with his national guard unit (he was a former Ranger and a captain in a guard tank unit), and he even made time
after school to work out with students who weren't happy with their performance in the cadet class (which was a phys ed credit). Once we had a cadet
who was so dirt poor that his shoes were falling apart on him, so Paul bought him a pair of work shoes that could pull double duty as uniform boots
and as everyday shoes.
The man was just plain and simple in it to instill some virtue in the next generation, because he told me often and was concerned that, "when America
falls, there won't be a shot fired".
I have also seen cases where it was clearly a matter of someone getting a degree and finding out that they had chosen a field that wasn't for them,
and deciding that they'd rather have a job where the hours are consistent and they can get away with a little multi-tasking on the job. I had a math
teacher in 9th grade who would leave for 5-10 minutes at a time, sometimes 5 times in a 2 hour class period, to see how his stocks were doing.
Teaching was just something that he could do that didn't get in the way of his day trading. I was having some issues during that year and wasn't
always sleeping at night- but he never said a word to me about falling asleep in his class or about not turning in a single assignment- i'm not
suggesting that it was his fault, I'm just saying that he wasn't even remotely interested in what was happening in his class.
I feel like we dont give people like Paul a way to do what they are capable of doing. They aren't in it for the money, but they do have concerns.
Paul and his wife (also a teacher) don't have kids and apparently have decided not to. Paul could never do what he does if he had kids to provide
for. I think that Paul is a rare breed in that he will sacrifice to do it- but not in the will to do it. I think that if that kind of effort paid off
enough to support itself against more of the constraining factors that many people have to contend with- there ought to be something in going above
and beyond like that.
Personally, there's no way i could make a career of teaching. I've entertained the idea of doing it when I get my degree, while I'm working on a
masters, but I don't know if I could possibly fall in love with it enough to put in that kind of time and personal investment on something that
doesn't set me up to ever be able to move on to other things at the end.