Friday, August 19, 2011

He Was Right...

How many times do we hear the voice in our head saying - "Oh, I'll never be like THEM.
They don't know what they are talking about...They come from a different time, a different place and today it is different." Those thoughts have been passed down from generation to generation, it seems. The younger, fresher blood always has a reason to discard "The Old Ways".

And yet, there comes that moment, when the realization that maybe they do have a point, they have had experiences that mirror what we are going through, that maybe, just maybe, THEY are right.

My father thought I would make a great teacher. But I didn't want to be a teacher, because at the time teachers were paid so was the 70's and I was going to be a commercial artist- make more money and have more prestige.

And so through many experiences and lifetimes, I found myself on the threshold of teaching. Finally not resisting what the universe presented to me, step by step, one day at a time, I followed the official path of being a teacher. Forget the fact that I was teaching children English in Italy...they were learning so well that many of my students were passing their proficiency speaking exams with flying colors. But in Italy, the story I told myself, was that I wasn't a "real teacher" because I never got my certification.

Coming back to the US, after some attempts to get back to my commercial world, but now having a young son to take care of, I felt, OKAY, I will do it...go back to school, get the validation and be a teacher. Always, it seems, looking into the future, and not honoring what I was doing now.

So after landing not one but 3 different art teaching jobs and then being put through the political educational ringer of job reductions and excessing, I was told I was not an "effective" teacher... a blow to the ego.

Nursing my wounds, little by little I found though, that my father was right. I am a natural born teacher, but not in the way our society or educational structure would have us think.

Just because I am not teaching now does not mean that I am not a teacher - not allowing one moment to define you has been an awakening experience. I am teaching all the time...teaching my son about friendships and relationships based on experiences garnered through trial and error. Teaching about my love of mosaics and how I am building my business. The moments seem to come fast and furious these days...just waiting for someone to ask to be taught.

A young couple, my nephew's friends, visiting and seeing the garden I have worked with my father becomes and opportunity to teach. Once again, the universe gave me the chance to express my passion for the flowers and plants in the garden my father inspired. Teaching handed down from generation to generation. My father lives on through my teaching others about gardening and my mother through her cooking and love of her children.

And so I am now the "family expert"...seems so funny, me who could not be bothered with gardening, now have my nephew's girlfriend asking me what to do with the abundance of tomatos she got. Imparting knowledge/experiences gained and being a channel to another form looking for knowledge...the essence of teaching. My father was right all along...I was born to be a teacher...just not in a district that tried to label my abilities as effective or not- not in a brick and mortar school.  Each moment is an opportunity to connect with another being that is looking for some of what I have gotten from the generation before. Teaching lives in me.

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In the Moment

In the Moment