I take a lot of pride in being a teacher. When I meet someone new and they ask what I do for a living, I typically know how it's going to play out: "What do you do for a living?" I'm a teacher. "Oh, nice. What grade?" I teach High School. "Oh wow! What subject do you teach?" I'm a math teacher. "Oh! I was never good at math, you must be smart."
I'm not going to get into the the whole topic about people's perception about math, but I have a secret to admit; I FEEL smart when they say things like that to me. I can do something a lot of other people are scared to even talk about: teach math. I love being a math teacher and most of the respect (fear?) that comes with it. People think I'm smart without even really knowing me.
A lot of my identity is formed through being a teacher. That's how hundreds of people know me. But I have other identities too. I'm a daughter, a wife, and a mother. I'm a friend, a sister, and a neighbor. I sit here with this inner conflict this morning because my son is sick. Yesterday there was no contest. He was sick I stayed home from work. But now this is the second day in a row where he's rather ill and I am torn inside. Should I take another day and stay home with my son, or is missing two day of work in a row too much?
I needed some perspective. I tried to look down the road a few years and predict how this will impact ALL of my children. My students: I would be extremely surprised if any of the students remembered that I wasn't present for two days. My son: He may not remember that I took off of work, but he'll remember the trip to the ER we took together, he'll remember me fighting with him to drink something or to try to take a nap, he may even remember that we watched the movie Ghost Busters more times than I'm willing to admit on this blog.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm a mother first, and although I'm not required to work during the summer, it doesn't seem like enough. Smart or not smart, sometimes one roll has to take a backseat to another roll.