I think anyone who is planning to become a teacher has probably heard this utterance at least once. My experience with it came merely from a family for whom I babysit, a family I’ve only known for a little over a year. I don’t feel deserving of being told these words, for they brought more joy to me than almost anything I’ve ever heard. Nonetheless, I will share the story with you because the only thing I know to do is spread the joy that’s overflowing from my heart (please forgive my cheesiness).
This family is a dual language one in which the son and his parents all speak both Spanish and English. I know what you’re thinking – interesting that they would invite a student with a strong southern accent and minimal experience with anything but English to babysit. I met them through another family I help in Carrboro, and boy am I thankful that they asked me to come entertain kids during a business dinner party on Saturday. I texted the mother yesterday thanking her for having me and complimenting the maturity of her son, and her response has left me floored.
“You have a gift,” she said, and what am I left to do? Should I take this as yet another arrow pointing me toward becoming a teacher? This article by CNN talks about the lasting impact of teachers, and perhaps this could be me if I choose to utilize this “gift” of mine? I am so ecstatic and thankful for her words yet I feel so undeserving of such kindness. More than anything, I’m left thinking of whether or not this is another sign for my future relationship with the field of teaching.
Credit: Falling Creek Camp (I’m in bottom right)
I know so many of you have also been told by someone, somewhere that you also have such a gift; I know I’m not alone. What would you make of this? I’m left to look at articles such as the one above and then back to her text message, and I just don’t know. Another friend of mine said something similar to me almost two years ago, referencing my involvement with a summer day camp: “You have a gift. You need to walk in it.” Walk in it?
I called my mom today and told her about the text message I received, and I asked her the question that’s constantly ravaging my mind: I’m told things like this, and I’m preparing for law school? She responded, “Yes!” What am I doing?
And so I’m left to ask you all for advice. I am a 21 year-old male college student struggling to figure out what to do with my life, with half of my friends and family urging me to go to law school and half telling me that I am destined to become an elementary school teacher. I write about this conundrum often, and I hope I’m not yet boring you with my words. What would you do if you were me?