To Teach or Not To Teach?…This is not a fair question.

I have a good friend from grad school who teaches. When we get together, the question of teaching often comes up. Specifically, why do we want to teach? We both struggle financially as teachers; in fact, his mother often asks him to go and out and “get a real job” instead of teaching. He’s a philosophy guy, so the conversations can get a bit deep and wordy…but we really don’t ever come to any satisfactory answer about why we keep teaching. The functional answer seems to be, if we want to make more money, then we have to find other employment.

At times in my teaching career, attending a class has seemed to be an exercise in mental flagellation…masochistic, self-induced torture for the “privilege” of standing in front of a small group of students. At the end of some of those bad days, I recall thinking, “Why the hell do I do this to myself?”

I’ve been away from teaching for over six months, at this point during the first week in July of 2014. Two weeks ago, I received confirmation of an interview for a teaching position…and I sobbed with joy for a good half-hour.

That’s right. I cried like a baby…because I had an interview…yes, my body was shaking…just at the mere prospect…the mere possibility…that I might be able to teach again.

I cannot properly explain it. I am not a person that knew he wanted to teach from an early age; the decision to become a teacher was honestly a final-moment decision in my life. Yet, having taught over sixty college classes over the last eight years, I can testify that I now have teaching in my blood…and I need to teach in order to be happy, in order to fulfill a destiny, in order to be true to my identity.

To answer my earlier question, I do this to myself because it is who I am.

I attended my interview earlier this week on Tuesday.

I will be teaching classes when the fall semester begins.

I am filled with such joy. The news has been especially gloomy this week, but I cannot help but succumb to positivity and optimism in light of this good fortune. I am just too darned happy.

I briefly shared this excitement on Facebook. I thought a few people might respond, and the post would quickly fade into Facebook nirvana, like many posts. Imagine my surprise when nearly a hundred people shared my elation. Friends and family—even some blog readers who I’ve never met—congratulated me upon hearing the news. Short of my children’s birth, I cannot recall a time in my life when I have experienced such love. This outpouring of support from those who know me best means so very much to me. My friends and family understand why this is such an important event in my life.

I get to teach again.

I get to be who I want to be.

I get to be who I need to be.

{I realize I committed sacrilege in the title of this blog when I altered Shakespeare’s iambic pentameter to heptameter form. Apologies.

If you appreciated this writing and want to help support the continuation of this blog, please consider sending a donation to:

Scott C. Guffey
P.O. Box 53
Michigan City, IN 46360

For a full explanation of author impetus, blog mission statement, and donations appeal, click About.}


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