The Teaching Life
As the school year approached I blogged about the feeling that came with that imminence. I quoted Rabbi Dovid Miller, who during a year of Sabbatical said that he was enjoying doing something that a Rebbe doesn't get to do that often; learn (as opposed to preparing). Similarly, a prominent Y.U. Rebbe once turned to me on the A train bench, looked up from his Gemorah, and said that there's no greater shibud (subordination) than that of having to prepare a new shiur for every day.
Sometimes I wonder to what extent teachers are expected to, and what extent teachers do subordinate their entire lives to teaching. Certain family members and friends say or hint often that they don't think a teacher should be as invested as I am. And yet I wonder. Some teachers do nothing else but prepare, and teach, and grade, and recommend, and council, etc.
I recently met a young woman who said that her principal gave a talk in which he said that if the school was anyone in the room's whole life then they were at the wrong job. I can imagine other schools where the opposite message might be conveyed. But this woman told me that it's what her boss really said,that he wanted teachers who had other interests and more in their life than the school. The same man spoke about what he remembers from school and how it's not so much academics, but moments of kindness. I liked that too.
I sit here now on my vacation with a note from parent thanking me for writing a recommendation for her son. I sit now writing it, trying to thrive on the kindness that this is. Rather than feel these tasks as weights I'd love to see them as wings. May G-d bless it to be so.