Saturday, March 2, 2013

SOL #3 - Mar. 3

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.


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post Beverley. I really relate with your experiences as a teacher. I had the same problem when I became a teacher. There were no jobs to be found in Ontario and so I went overseas. I have taught in Vietnam, Shanghai and now Hong Kong. Although it is still the start of my teaching career, I understand when you say that "teacher has always been the force that gave me the strength to follow my dreams." I have met the love of my life overseas and I wouldn't change my choices for the World. Thanks for sharing your personal story to inspire others!

Jaana said...

Wonderful! A few places in your story I could have inserted my name. I came from overseas and teach in Michigan. I also would not change anything--teaching is what I do and love! Well, I also love writing:) Thank you for sharing your story!

Linda B said...

Beverley, this seems to be just the beginning of your story-telling! You gave so many "hints" of things that I definitely am curious & want to know more! What an amazing journey you have taken. Thanks for telling us some of it!

Unknown said...

I, too, wanted to be a teacher. But I was impatient and wanted to get out into the world. I could never shake the teaching bug, though. My path was circuitous; I didn't start teaching until I was in my 30s. Even if I leave the classroom, I cannot imagine I will ever give up teaching.

Thanks for sharing your slice today.

Carol said...

Such an amazing journey! As I read of all your travels, I'm struck by your bravery, leaving home and going to such a very remote place for three years, then leaving again, this time with a small child (love the image of you pulling him in the wagon and sled), then back to Ontario.

Teaching has always been a strong life force for me. I'm probably within the last five years of my career and I wonder what I will do without it. Like you, I'm so thankful to have had a career that has been such a sustaining force!

Karen said...

First I want to say how thankful I am that you take the time to stop by and leave a comment on my slice posts with such regularity.
Second, I'm glad we can inspire one another. Like you, I am nearing the end of my career as well. Originally, this was the last year I was to work. But here's the thing -- I still love what I do. I'm just not ready. So now I'm saying either of the next two years could be it. I hope I continue to love this job until the very end.
It sounds like we've both achieved our dreams of teaching in whatever way they came to us.