I’m struggling right now with my purpose in life. I’m a teacher by trade, but the past few years I’ve really wondered whether teaching is still a worthwhile profession. I don’t feel like I’m making a difference in the world. The students have become indolent and enabled, wanting a passing grade for little or no effort. And the parents encourage this attitude.
As far as feeling valued for the work I do, well, I don’t. So it’s little wonder that I’ve begun to question what I’m still doing teaching. I mean, I’d much rather be at home writing or sewing or baking bread. But I need to make a living until I finish that dang novel of mine. And since my husband would have a coronary if I one day decided to no longer earn a paycheck, I continue to teach.
Fortunately, I have a few students who enjoy writing as much as I do. I am able to discuss plot twists and character flaws and other fictional fodder with them. In fact, their enthusiasm encourages and motivates me. After sharing a critique I’d done for one of my students on his fantasy novel, I came home that evening and wrote two pages on my own novel. I added some twists to one chapter and edited (read cut the fat) from another scene. All because I talked to a couple of seventeen-year-old aspiring writers.
I guess only the Most High knows why I am still teaching when most days my heart’s not in it. But as long as I can share my fervor for fiction writing with my students, I’ll press on. And maybe find a new purpose in teaching.