My Fledgling Social Justice Summer School

Sometimes I think that I should have been a teacher. And then I remember all the reasons that I know it’d be a bad fit, and consequently, why I’ve always been an entrepreneur.

1.     I tend to be anti-institution and anti-authority. If I think something should be done better I really can’t let it go. Every school I was a part of bothered me in ways that are still with me today.

2.     I hate being told what to do and how to do it. This may sound like the same as above, but it’s not. I not only disagree with the way that the organization is run but I also don’t want my success defined for me. Standardized testing in theory makes sense to me but the abstract thought of it being tied to my performance leaves me sleepless, mulling over a long list of theoretical asterisks and caveats about how else I would/could deliver value.

3.     I gloss over details. Ideas, concepts, outlines are really motivating to and energizing for me. I go for the gist of things and promptly forget all the facts.

4.     I’m not patient enough. I loved the idea of being a therapist until I realized that I could still claim (financial) success if I had patients who wanted to talk about their mother every week for a year and whose lives were only incrementally different from when I met them. Suffocating, for me.

I was really satisfied with my decision to not be a teacher (despite my degrees in education and psychology) until I had kids. Well, until my daughter started showing her own interest in things. As soon as she started displayed even slight signs of preferences for certain books or toys over others I felt the irrepressible desire to meet her curiosity – and still do. For me it is so much fun to engage with them around learning. I love to teach them and even more I love them to teach me. I love the idea of helping them foster and nurture their interests. I love giving them educational resources and opening worlds of wonder and novelty. If I ever go bankrupt it will surely be because I’ve bought too many children’s books. Libraries are the most wonderful community institutions, but I treat our books like treasure, hoarding the knowledge, imagination, messages and beautiful pictures. I’m unashamed to say that I want to own these resources so that they can discover, rediscover, remember and relish all that they have to offer.

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