Saturday, December 5, 2015

Local Saturday - A Freshly Minted Teacher

Last night, my spouse and I took my mother in law to the wake of her son's wife's mother. (Now that is a mouthful, and I wish there was a word in English for that relationship.  If there is, I don't know the word.)  The funeral home was packed - it's a large family and the deceased and her husband had many, many friends in the area.

At the end of the receiving line, after the deceased's husband, my brother in law, his wife and her sister and brother and their spouses, were the nieces and nephews.  I don't see them much, and so was pleased to find that one of them (in her 20's) started, this past September, as a teacher at the local high school.

A freshly minted teacher.  I think she will be an excellent one.

But (and, of course, we didn't tell her this) I hope she survives what is becoming an increasingly rocky profession.

I have two cousins who work in the New York City school system.  One is a special ed teacher, one is a school psychologist.  My late best friend from childhood was an elementary school teacher in Brooklyn for many years.  Another cousin was a speech therapist in New York City schools.  A cousin of my spouse's is a retired elementary school teacher and another of his cousins is a high school French teacher in Florida.  For some reason, the teaching talent escaped me, although my mother had high hopes for me becoming a teacher before she passed away way too young.

But, I've heard too many of their stories, especially from the ones who retired.

In the days when my best friend taught, teaching started out as a high calling.  Now, I'm not sure what it is.  I know I count teachers as among the readers of my blog, and I could let them speak for themselves, if any of them cared to.  I am not a teacher and am not qualified to blog about that profession, except as the mother of someone who was educated by the public school system.

I hope my niece in law (again, wish there was a name for that) experiences what teaching should be like - it can be rewarding and should be.  Her hopes are high.

I hope she is not disappointed.


  1. Will that the "freshly minted teacher" be a facile entity who melts into what exists and looks to have HER expectations met? a conduit which affects her students and colleagues with a singular dynamism. Challenges abound, I continue to believe that we can BE THE CHANGE we wish to see. After all, nothing transforms if the choice is to maintain the status quo. May she find joy and fulfillment in a career that requires an altruistic sensibility, tons of energy, and a compassionate nature. Bless her.

  2. LOL,a topic I know all too well. My father was a teacher and assistant principal in NYC, my mother was a teacher in the city and later on Long Island. My boyfriend is a teacher on the Island. And my daughter is a teaching assistant, studying to get her teaching license. The changes in the profession ... It has changed quite a bit since you and I went to school. I wish your niece in law much luck in her chosen profession.

  3. It's a demanding and difficult but one of the most essential of all professions. I wish her well in her new career.

  4. It is a demanding job but has its own joys! I can say this as my mother is a middle school teacher. I can see the smile on her face when the students that she taught come back to her after a lot of years and tell her how thankful they are for the things she taught them. One of the most respected professions i must say.

  5. It is a high calling (something I can say as one who will never quite be a teacher). Unfortunately, teaching does not get the respect it deserves.


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