Day 3 -time to share another Slice of Life. Stacey and Ruth of "Two Writing Teachers" are hosting this month long writing of slices from our lives. Do take part.
While visiting Karen of "Literate Lives", I was struck by her SOL. She talked about sharing her early life with a young teacher.
It made me think of my early life and how different it turned out to be from what I expected when I was in my early teens. I knew I wanted to be a teacher, but I was shy and had no intentions of ever leaving home, in Toronto.
But then I went away to university in Ottawa, and teacher's college in Kingston. I applied to every board in Ontario and a few other places. I was offered teaching jobs on 2 northern reserves in Ontario and Manitoba as well as in Fort McPherson in the NWT.
I ended up going to the far north, to a small native community. I stayed 3 years and saw much of the north - Inuvik, Yellowknife, Tuktoyuktuk, Whitehorse. I made close friends - as these other teachers, nurses and RCMP became your family for the 11 months you lived there. It was lonely at times, but you learned to depend on each other and make your own entertainment.
(moose hair tufting - gift when I left)
I returned to Ontario after 3 years, with a baby and stayed at my mother's for a year, once again looking for a job. Again none were found in Ontario.
So I accepted a job in Rycroft, Alberta and left with my young son to teach in a small rural community. I had no car, no family. There were lots of tears the first few months and lots of challenges. But I made good friends, loved the teaching and we thrived. I pulled my son in a wagon in the good weather and on a sled in the winter.
After 2 years there, I met a single father and we married.
There were more moves, the birth of my daughter and then a move back to Ontario, where my youngest was born.
Teaching has always been the force that gave me the strength to follow my dreams. It was the career that sustained me through a divorce, many challenges and even the death of my mom.
As I come to the end of my career, I sometimes wonder where I would be if I had not followed that early dream of teaching no matter where it took me.