It was the end of the day and the kindergarteners were packing up their multiple possessions. One of them had a frustrating day and on her way out of the rest room, she looked directly at me. Her comment was, “You don’t like kids, do you?”
Yes, it was a five or six-year-old who was probably not to be considered an accurate judge of my teaching abilities or compassion. But I will admit to feeling that I was stabbed in the chest, if only by a tiny blade.
The next day, I found myself in a first-grade art class where I reluctantly disclosed to a student that I was a writer but couldn’t draw. The student asked, “Why are you teaching art if you can’t draw?”
In a flash of illumination, it was clear that kids expect their teachers to be paradigms of everything – wisdom, skill, patience and probably the ability to walk on water. Now I realize that for a split second a kindergartener heard me scold a child and I fell from my hero tower to become a child disliker. The same took place when I admitted the tragic flaw of being a non-artist.
The upside is that kids treat their teachers with that level of reverence. You’re a teacher and you need to know everything, see anything and do whatever is required by that moment.
And so, I’ll step up to the challenge and the responsibility. My magic teacher bag will continue to store and provide candy. I will happily apply bandages to the nearly invisible boo-boos. When I get a 4:00 plea to be at a 7:00 a.m. music teacher, I will continue to say yes. And to make certain that I maintain my pseudo-deity status, I won’t get sick or hungry or angry or sad. That should make life quite simple. Shalom.
If I may assist you with any of your writing endeavors, it will be my privilege to do so. You may reach me at email@example.com and I hope that you will use that address only for honorable purposes.