Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Rewards

I spent many years teaching young children. I taught first graders for seven years and pre-k classes for eighteen years. For me, it was a joyful experience. I read stories, sang songs, made dough sculptures, and macaroni necklaces. Learning the alphabet was great! We baked applecrisp for the letter a, bread for b, and carrot cake for c.

Some of my students presented quite a few challenges, but that's where I honed my teaching skills. It wasn't always an easy job--even working with small children, but it was very rewarding. I got plenty of smiles, hugs, and kisses.

Recently, I've seen some of my former students. They are so grown up. :^) Talking with them and knowing that they've done well in life has been the biggest bonus of all. Obviously, I had a very small part in their success, but I was at the beginning--and that's an important place to be.

Do I miss teaching? Sometimes, but I have other responsibilities now and I always have my writing. I have been productive since I retired from teaching. I finished Daddy Wanted and got a contract for it. I finished The Pirate's Wraith and have been searching for a publisher interested in time travel. I have one third of Patriot's Heart written and hope the writing challenge of JerRoWriMo will speed my word count along.

I am grateful I was able to teach. There was never a dull day in the classroom and we shared far more laughter than tears. For anyone looking for a career, I highly recommend it--as long as you've got plenty of patience and a positive attitude. You won't get rich in a classroom, but the rewards will warm your heart for the rest of your life.

5 comments:

MarkD60 said...

I wish you wuzz my teecher, maybe then I wooda learnd to rite bedder!

Sreiously, you'd make a great teacher, and I would have been the one with the crush on you!

Penelope Marzec said...

Mark,

Ha! Very few four year olds ever had a crush on me. Mostly, they called me Mommy. Or Teacher.

I probably would have taught you to sing. :^)

Anonymous said...

Penny,
I have wondered if you miss teaching, and was glad to read this blog entry....what a great time you had and what a difference you made in so many lives! Not to mention the influence on your 3 lovely daughters!
Marianne Drake

Chris Plumb said...

After two years of subbing and writing, I'm going back to the classroom full time, and It's a little bittersweet. It's a tough, stressful job, and it's rewards aren't always obvious. Writing hasn't paid off (literally), but it is my true passion. Hopefully I can find the time around my classroom to still get something published like you. Good post.

Penelope Marzec said...

Chris,

I subbed for one school year. I did not like it. I was used to having my own classroom.

Some people get lucky and writing pays off for them, but most of us writers need a nice steady job to support our passion. When I was teaching I usually wrote in the evening after supper--if there was nothing else going on, but in raising three daughters there was always something going on. I never stayed up late because I had to get enough rest to function in a classroom full of young children.

Somedays, I would get no more than a paragraph completed. Other days, I would write five pages. I just never gave up. It took me twelve years to get a contract for my first book--and it was an ebook. Nobody knew what an ebook was back in 2001. :^)

So keep writing. And someday, the kids you teach will tell you how well they're doing and you'll feel good knowing you helped them a little bit in their lives.