1.) What do you like to do?
2.) What do you feel like you are good at doing?
3.) What could you do and want to do, even though you may find it challenging?
Those questions were posed to me by a woman who was interviewing me for a job. Last year, during an unrelated interview, the question “What are you passionate about?” was asked of me, and I wrote a post about it. (I also re-wrote the question, because the fact that it ended with the word ‘about’ bothered me.) So, it should come as no surprise that these new questions that were asked of me also inspire me to write a post.
The first question is simple. I like to write, take pictures, talk, and eat ice cream. Please understand, I rarely write, take pictures, talk, and eat ice cream at the same time. Though if challenged, I think I could manage it.
The second question is not difficult; although, I have a bit of trepidation in admitting I am ‘good’ at something without coming across as conceited. So humbly, I say I am good at writing, I am good at taking pictures, I am good at talking, and you know I am good at eating ice cream. I think it is safe to say that I am good at what I like to do.
Now we come to the third question. Just like the second question, I do not find the third question difficult. And again, there is the concern that I will sound conceited when I say, with a certain amount of confidence, that I am good at something. But, when one is interviewing for a job, it is important answer the questions you are asked.
My answer to question number three is what brought me to the interview in the first place.
What could you do and want to do, even though you may find it challenging?
I work well with children, I want to work with children, and children challenge me for the better.
If you know me, I mean – if you really know me – my answer to question number three may have caused you to do a double-take. After all, I am the person who bet a friend I would never have children. I didn’t make the bet because I felt I was a loser and would never find a husband (though, it did take more years to locate the man than I had anticipated), rather I made the bet because I never wanted kids.
My Mom was an in-home childcare provider, and I was surrounded by babies and toddlers for years. One or two of the babies for whom my Mom cared had colic. Are you familiar with colic? If so, I offer my condolences. Babies with colic are no fun. I can remember times when I was coming home from school and I could hear the baby crying from outside. Every step I took closer to the house was taken in dread and agony.
Okay, perhaps I am being a bit dramatic. Just a bit. But there was dread. Definitely dread.
I am the youngest of six, and I was surrounded by kids growing up. I saw my own adulthood as a chance for me to break free from the responsibilities and demands faced by parents with children. I did not wear baby-goggles, seeing only cute little noses, toes, and fingers. I did not let myself get sucked into their coos and giggles. No. They had no power over me, because I knew they required work – a whole lot of work.
Then I got pregnant. I blame my husband, because he is so gosh darn good-looking. Seriously. How could I refuse? I mean, he is so good-looking that I had to see what kind of kids we’d produce. And you know what? We produced some pretty handsome boys. Of course, the first born was borderline colic. Figures.
Once I gave birth to Joe, I found myself wanting to spend more time with other children. When I picked Joe up from childcare, I would often spend time playing with the kids before going home. Plus, I became involved in our church nursery on Sundays.
When my kids started school, we would still go back and visit their childcare provider, and I would immediately plop down on the floor to read to the kids. In addition, I moved from assisting with the church nursery to assisting with the school-aged kids during Sunday school. I’ve been assisting the same group of kids for the past 2yrs, and I plan on following this same group of kids through 5th grade. (These kids are third graders.)
Not only did I lose the bet with my friend, I’ve completely changed my opinion about kids. I could teach kids in a house. I could teach kids with a mouse. I could teach kids here or there. I could teach kids anywhere. (Technically, because I do not have a degree in education, I could not teach the kids as a “Teacher”.)
Wednesdays are “Book Club” days in my older son’s class. “Book Club” consists of a parent reading to the kids, while the kids eat lunch. This month, I’m “Book Club” Mom, and I love it. What fun it is to read to a classroom filled with kids. Know what? The kids actually pay more attention to the book than their lunch.
Full disclosure: I’m not overly involved with my kids at home. More often than not, you will find the boys playing outside, doing experiments, and cooking in the kitchen with their Dad – not me. Sure, I’ll sit down for a game of Sorry, Trouble, Blokus, or Apples to Apples, and I will help the boys with their homework, but you won’t find me doing much else. Actually, that’s not entirely true.
I read to the boys most every night. In fact, right now we are reading book #4 of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. We love it. Literally, the boys and I look forward to bedtime, because the three of us know it is reading time.
Still, dare I say – interacting, motivating, and learning with other children runs a close second to the joy I have in reading to my boys at night.
I could be a teacher*. I want to be a teacher. And, I’m comfortable with saying I would find it challenging to be a teacher; but that challenge doesn’t deter my desire. And that, my readers, is my answer to question number three.
* Note: I use the term ‘teacher’ loosely, as I do not have a degree in education. By teacher I mean ‘mentor’; but, this is my blog, so I used the word ‘teacher’. No offense intended.