Lesson 98 on Remembering who’s important
Seeing as I’ve reached the last ten blogs for #107 days, I thought I’d highlight a few memories relevant to Sara, LB and all the other dudes and dudettes. This is one.
The teenage girls I taught seemed to be perpetually involved in some sort of dispute with their mothers. Regardless of the nature or quality of the mothering they actually received, there was always some grudge or injustice to be aired.
It was easy, as a young woman teacher, to be flattered into thinking yourself superior to all those awful mothers out there.
However I never had the luxury of being able to feel better than anybody else, because I was so useless myself. (For instance, I once came home to find my latchkey child sitting on the doorstep in the snow because she had left her front door key at school.)
A professional person without such shameful experiences in their past can all too readily overestimate their own importance. They forget they are just transitory figures on the timeline of their pupils or clients.
When my teenage pupils moaned about their Mums, I used to let them grouch on for a little, till I asked them.
“How do you see yourself in the future? Would you like to have children?”
“Oh yes, Miss,” was almost always the reply.
“But I suppose you’ll still want a bit of time for yourself?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, you might want to go out with your friends now and again.”
At this point they would look at me as though I was mad. Of course they would want to go on girls’ night out.
“And who’s going to baby-sit?” They began to see where this was going.
Professionals, however important their role for a specific purpose at a certain time, aren’t there for the duration.
They’re the hired help.