I think I’ve always known I was made to be a teacher… As a child, some of my fondest memories were of me playing school… I would wait with such anticipation until the end of the week and pack all of my school textbooks into my ever overflowing backpack. My teachers just couldn’t understand what I was doing. “Every weekend we see you bringing all of your books home, Samantha…What do you DO all weekend with those?!” they’d exclaim as I toted my backpack, almost bursting at the seams, out the classroom door in a rush to catch my bus. I’d calmly explain that I just had to take them home…who else was going to teach my little sister how to act at school if I didn’t play teacher?!
And play teacher I did! I would spend all Friday night setting up my “classroom” and preparing for my “students” (stuffed animals of course). That piano chair that sat so lonely in the basement was finally put to use to serve as my teacher desk which so proudly displayed my cup of freshly sharpened pencils and my name plate. You just couldn’t be a teacher without freshly sharpened pencils and a name plate.
Saturday mornings were when school would begin and, of course, my live pupil would trickle in and take her place among the others. I would teach her how to raise her hand, how to practice writing her letters (she was only 3 or 4 after all), and would practice using my “teacher look” when she was just a bit too chatty. Saturdays were also for “professional development”, aka completing my homework assignments, and lesson planning, which consisted of creative writing time. I took my job of playing teacher seriously.
So many years later, I’m often asked by my current students, who are very much alive and real, when I knew I wanted to be a teacher….to which I respond, “I think I always knew,” and share my fond memories of playing school so many years ago.