September Again

It has been the same ritual every September. I ask my daughter how her first day of school went. It may It have been good, it may have been indifferent, but she always manages to tell me “I hate school.” For eighteen straight Septembers that was our ritual. Until last year.

Suddenly she was excited about school. She came home one day and said “Math is fun.” Strange words from the girl who dropped math in high school as soon as legally possible. Very strange indeed when you consider that she used to pretend to be sick in order to not have to go to school.

That never worked of course. And I sympathized. Our education system is pretty good, but not perfect and not every student is going to enjoy the experience.

Last September’s exuberance didn’t last. By month-end school was a drag. I think a lot of that though was because the end was in sight. After getting through Junior Kindergarten, Kindergarten, Grades one through twelve and four years of her French and Linguistics degree, she was ready to get on with life. First though she had to finish her Bachelor of Education.

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A newly minted teacher.

Yes, the girl who hated school all those years is now a teacher.

It really is about calling. I tell young people entering school to get the education they want, enjoy it and not worry about the job at the conclusion. If your passion is basket weaving then study basket weaving – but don’t come to me complaining that the world owes you a job because you have an education. Real life doesn’t work that way. Some things just aren’t in demand. Follow your passion, but be realistic about your future.

My school-hating daughter has always loved working with children. She’s been a Sunday School teacher for a decade. She’ll be a great teacher. She understands what it is to not like school; she can empathize with the children who want to be elsewhere. Her classroom will be a fun place to be, which mean that learning will happen.

So today, once more, is her first day of school. It’s the twentieth year in a row. It certainly won’t be the last. It seems my daughter has found her passion, her calling. That bodes well for the students of tomorrow. I’m so glad she wasn’t interested in basket weaving.

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