Sometimes, I get a little frustrated when people make assumptions about teaching. Some of them are offensive:
"Those who can't do, teach."
(Because teaching itself isn't a skill-set, just a back-up plan when grander life goals fail.)
Some of them are simply, and blissfully, ignorant:
"It must be so NICE to only work until 3:00 and still get paid for a full day!"
(I get to work at 7:00. 7:00-3:00 is just as much as "full day" as 9:00-5:00.)
But the most disturbing (at least to me) assumptions occur when someone questions my motives for teaching. While I know they don't mean any harm, the comment I've heard most when I mention I'm a teacher goes something like this-
"Oh that's wonderful! What a great mom job!"
Newsflash: I didn't go into teaching because it is a "great mom job."
I went into teaching because I am passionate about education. I am passionate about history. I am passionate about literature. I went into teaching because it is the best job for me.
Because, really, all jobs can be great "mom jobs." Just like all jobs can be great "dad jobs." (But no one tells men that, anyway.) I think being a great Mom has very little to do with what job title you hold, and very much to do with what type of person you are. There are great Moms who are lawyers, neurosurgeons, and CEO's. There are lousy moms who are teachers, nurses, and home-business owners (just to name a few of the more prominent and socially acceptable "mom jobs.")
Are the hours for teaching conducive to having school-age kids? Sure. But in a world where there are so many options for both Mom and Dad's work schedule and child-care, it's hard to use a schedule as the only qualifier for a "Mom job."
I also hear a lot of "Oh being a teacher will help you teach your kids! That's why I majored in ___________, so that I can be a better mom."
Yes. Being a teacher will give help me teach my kids. But why have so many people decided that only certain types of information can be valuable to our children? Wouldn't being a doctor help me teach my kids too? Or a businesswoman? Or a politician?
All types of education and experiences are valuable to teaching children. Not just the education you get from your FCS major. (Although that IS great, too!)
Lastly, I hear the "It's always great to have that teaching degree. Just in case."
I didn't get a degree "just in case" my husband dies, or is handicapped, or heaven-forbid, leaves me for some trollop.
I chose to gain an education to serve others, including God. Whether or not I work or stay at home,* my education isn't the intellectual equivalent of food storage, to be used only in case of an emergency.
But I also worked hard for my degree, for myself. For my own edification. The doctrine of my church teaches that if I am diligent and faithful in my learning that"There should be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things." (D&C88:67)
No darkness in me.
My body...comprehendeth all things.
My education, both spiritual and temporal, is for me.
Because assumptions about teaching aren't always right.
Because if I can't do, how can I teach?
That's how it works, right? That's how it should work. **
*In my discussion about great "Mom jobs" I chose to discuss more formal careers. But that shouldn't indicate a disrespect for great Stay-At-Home Moms.
**Wrong! Wrong! Child Bride! That's NOT how it works! You'll change your mind once you had kids! In fact, why are you even writing this!? Your opinions will change (miraculously, they will change to be just like mine) once you have your own children! Just you wait!
Dear commenters, please feel free to copy and paste the above statement as your comment if you find my thoughts offensive. It seems whenever I discuss my own, personal, opinions on motherhood/femininity/or children, I am inevitably given some variation of this comment. So I've made it simple. Copy. Paste.
It's not that I don't appreciate discourse, I do! I don't appreciate being told I cannot have valid thoughts until I'm older, a mother, a mother of three, a mother of older children, etc.
Some judging space, just in case.