Pluses and Minuses

I get asked a lot of times, “Don’t you miss teaching English/Drama?” To be clear, no one ever uses the slash there, but rather I employed that to suggest that sometimes people ask if I miss teaching English and others ask if I miss teaching Drama. Usually people don’t ask about both. And, now that I think about it, it would have been shorter just to explain that instead of using the slash and explaining why I used that. Yeah.

But, last night, as Prom was winding down, a former student asked me this question and I thought about it right now. I like teaching ASB really. It’s very hard, though. Like a lot of things in life, there are pluses and minuses. I mean, I went to film school, right? I paid upwards of $80K for two different degrees in film so I could be a public school teacher. You might think that I regret that daily.

I regret deferring my freaking loans for ten years while my ex-wife got herself a degree she later claimed she never wanted. I regret deferring them thinking that when said ex-wife got her degree and license she would practice privately and help me pay them off. I regret not really understanding that capitalizing interest snowballs awesomely in ten years.

But, I don’t regret the degrees. I am super happy that I went to film school because it was so fun and I love movies and USC was the school I always wanted to attend. That was all great. Not digging the student loan payments, but the diplomas look awesome on the wall behind me.

Like a lot of things in life it has pluses and minuses.

Teaching ASB is, sometimes, insane. If you teach English and your lesson one day is so awful and flops then only the kids in the class know. And, if you do an awful job teaching them to write persuasive essays then usually only you know. It’s not like they take those essays and plaster them around the school. But, if you screw up in ASB then most people in the school and maybe even in the community will all get to see it. Yeah, that’s fun.

So, that explains why I was nervous driving to Prom last night. You never want to ruin Prom for 500 kids who were looking forward to this night for the last three years and just spent several hundred dollars getting ready and whatnot. That’s a good deal of pressure. So, being an ASB director is stressful sometimes.

But, I became a teacher because I wanted to have a positive impact on people’s lives. I have said that I’d like to earn a big funeral. I hope that my life will have been spent well-enough that a lot of people will miss me. My mother had a big funeral. There was really a lot of people there and most were people she had helped. So, I was inspired to get a job that would have a positive impact on people’s lives. And, teaching is totally that. Every morning, as a teacher, you have an opportunity to change lives.

The question is not whether you will have an impact on lives. The question is if that impact will be positive or negative.

And, that’s what I really love about ASB. Every day I get a chance to make the lives of 2400 kids better. I can improve the community. I can help 80 teachers and more than 100 staffulty happier and better workers. That’s an amazing opportunity!!! Scary, but amazing.

It has its pluses and minuses.


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