Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Un-Teacher

One of the reasons I took a job at an international school was to find out whether or not I wanted to be a teacher or a librarian. I thought that the two years of my teaching contract would give me enough time to sort this dilemma out.

Six weeks into the school year, and I already have my answer. I do not want to be a teacher, especially not a drama teacher, as they are expected to give up a significant portion of their personal time. I will, of course, continue to put great effort into my job and I will finish out my contract; this is not a concern. But being here has already taught me something I already suspected about my personality: I'm a hermit. Sometimes I wonder if this makes me a bit of a freak. For instance, dating is not even on my radar right now. Maybe if I meet somebody I like, my tune might change. But now, when I think about it, it feels like a burden or a chore.

The reason? I like being alone.

Yes, I'm quite social, and I try to maintain a wide circle of friends, but I only have interest in doing this if I get enough time to myself. Lacking time to myself, I become sluggish and irritable. I isolate myself from people and hole myself away.

In my current job, it is not the teaching that I enjoy most. It's the planning, the marking, the tasks that are done independently. I like my students, I like my coworkers -- that's not the issue. I would just prefer a job where I could work in relative solitude. I am always thinking of the library and how much I would enjoy it there. You could argue that this is a case of "the grass is always greener", but here I don't think that is so. It is simply an acknowledgment of my personality, which can be seen in the way that I spend my spare time.

I don't have much spare time, so I make efficient use of what I do have. I leave school and I exercise, scare up some supper, and then I do my non-work-related work: writing, art, reading, something along those lines. I never bothered hooking up my cable and I have not put anything in my apartment that might distract me from the task at hand. If I am productive with these things, I feel satisfied and fulfilled.

This is why I feel that for me, the teaching profession is an ill-fit. I do like teaching enough that I hope to find a library position that incorporates it in some way, but I do not want it to be my primary responsibility. Fortunately, my work history would definitely qualify for a position as an academic liaison librarian or an archivist, both of which are hugely appealing to me. I find myself checking the website of McGill University's library program often, reading the course descriptions, getting excited about a future that still seems a long way off.

Regardless, I am glad that I came here. My coworkers are great people, the students never cease to shock/amuse, and I am growing professionally by the day. I will be able to save enough money that I will not have to take out more debt to do the library program while still chipping away at the debt I've already got. I still sort of feel as though I am in limbo, but it is good to know that when I exit that limbo, I will have made it possible to have the future I want.

1 comment:

Joni said...

You're not a freak. I'm also a hermit. I like to spend my weekends at home or just on my own. Also, dating is not on my radar either. I'm enjoying my life as is way too much to complicate it with dating!