I was watching the blues game the other night, trying to unwind from the day of school. A thought popped into my head. I turned to Andrew Struttmann and said, “Hey. We are actually teachers.” Andrew didn’t think it was a dumb statement. He replied, “I know what you’re saying, I was just thinking about that the other day.” Almost a full semester of teaching under my belt at Rockhurst High School and the reality of this year has finally hit me. It is such an obviously simple thought, yet it took me about a semester to understand it.
When I tell people what I am doing this year, I tell them I’m teaching at Rockhurst High School and then quickly follow it up with saying it is a year of service. It is much more than just service though. Looking back to this time last year, I had no clue what I was going to do after I graduated. I never would have thought I would be teaching 3 sections of Modern World History to sophomores, being the assistant coach on freshman football and lacrosse, or all of the other things I have gotten to do thus far and will do throughout this year. This year so far has been filled with so many new and exciting experiences that it takes a while to take it all in. In fact, it took me nearly 3 months to the day to fully grasp the opportunity I have been given.
Yes it is a year of ASC service. And yes I am spending a year giving back to the Jesuit institution that has given me so much. But it really is so much more than that. It is a job, but its also an opportunity for tremendous personal growth. I think this being a year of service has been working in both directions. I have spent time and harded work in and out of the classroom, but it has given me the chance to grow and a chance to find something that I am passionate about. I have loved every second of this experience. I am constantly learning. Whether it is learning a new topic that I am teaching the next day or learning new ideas on how to approach the classroom from a veteran teacher, my mind does not stop growing. With all the growth, learning, and new experiences I have encountered this year, I can understand why I am just now realizing that I am a teacher. It is a lot to process. I have given a lot of my time and energy, but I truly believe that I have received more than I could ever imagined or asked. So much so that I can actually say that I am a teacher.