Flying up on the wings of anticipation

Today I had the opportunity to talk to someone who wants to become a teacher. She's excited to make such a huge difference. She's incredibly confident that this is what she wants to do for the rest of her life. She can't wait to start.

In that moment, listening to her, I flashed back seven years to when I was about to become a teacher. I literally could not wait to get into that classroom. I was confident that I would always write long, extensive notes on every single piece of work that each student gave me. I knew that I would never grow tired or lose my patience. I was sure my students would hang onto my every word. I didn't care about the long hours ahead of me, the meager pay, and the utter chaos.

Sometimes I miss that person who was starry-eyed and fired up. That person was smug when listening to any teacher complain, confident that she would never be in that position. That person was blissfully unaware of any challenges ahead.

I've learned a great deal in my seven years of teaching. It's been the most rewarding, difficult, unimaginably emotional job I've ever had. I've had such high highs and low lows, and it has completely consumed my life for the past seven years.

I've always identified with Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery), who romanticizes almost everything. In Anne of Avonlea (the second of eight books in the series - yes, I've read them all), she says,

"When I think something nice is going to happen I seem to fly right up on the wings of anticipation; and then the first thing I realize I drop down to earth with a thud. But really, Marilla, the flying part is glorious as long as it lasts...it's like soaring through a sunset. I think it almost pays for the thud."

In that moment, chatting with this perspective teacher today, I wished more than anything that I could take away her impending thud. For it happens, even to those amazing teachers who teach for 20 or 30 years. At least for now, she can fly.

I'm sure that before long, I'll be soaring on the wings of anticipation about something else. Although in Anne of Avonlea, Marilla replies to Anne, "I'd rather walk calmly along and do without both the flying and the thud", personally, I wouldn't have it any other way.