Day 25 – In Which I Become an Educator

And so I’m a teacher now.

I have no formal training beyond my own education and a Teaching English as a Second Language Certificate from 2006.

Yet I find that I have a natural teaching talent.

I sit with my daughter at the kitchen table and tackle kindergarten. We make index cards with single-syllable sight words. I make columns of numbers, counting by five and pointing out the patterns, how numbers on the right alternate from zeroes to fives all the way to one hundred.

I draw maps. We talk about planets. We devise an index card currency that can be used to incentives chores. We run obstacle courses in the backyard for P.E.

My wife teaches math, too, and music. My wife is a very talented musician.

It’s going ok.

On my fridge is a glossy reproduction of a black and white photograph that I cut out of a book. I think it’s by Ansel Adams.

In the photo, a giant, oblong boulder is balanced precariously on a tapering point. It doesn’t look right. It looks like it defies gravity. It looks like nature should have toppled this boulder a long time ago, that the slightest gust could blow it over. That’s the first thing you notice.

The second thing you notice is the small woman standing calmly next to the precarious rock. It’s an old photo and the woman dresses in the way that women dress in old photos (I would guess the 1940s by the cuffed dungarees, man’s lumberjack shirt, and loafers). She seems calm and poised.

Well, you get the metaphor.

I’m staying calm. There are larger forces at work here.

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