I heard this quote while I was studying theatre in high school and somehow it became a truth in my brain. As an immature college student in the early nineties, I promised myself I would never teach theatre. After I had Chaz and realized how much time his therapies, doctor visits and general care would consume, I decided to get a degree in interdisciplinary studies and teach Reading- some weird pride issue.
I managed to keep a little pinky toe in the theatre world by doing a show here and there, offering after school classes and directing scenes for church, but I never wanted to be an official theatre/drama teacher.
Twenty years later, I have been offered a job by a colleague/friend doing just that-teaching drama to K-6th grade. I took the state test last Saturday and I PASSED.
So I decided this quote should be revised.
Those who can and don't want to starve, teach.
Those who can and want to clothe their children, teach.
Those who can and want to have an extra dollar and seven cents to buy the homeless man at 7/11 a Big Bite, teach.
Those who can and want to fund some projects teach.
Those who can and like kids and acting and writing and making costumes and creating sets, teach.
Those who can and love the process of getting a group of thinking people together and seeing what kind of story we all can tell and what we end up learning about ourselves and others, teach. Even when that group of people will be twenty kindergarteners at 7:30 in the morning, (You think the idea of twenty kindergarteners at 7:30 in the morning is daunting, try twenty kindergarteners after lunch. I subbed in a kinder class yesterday and even I had a hard time staying on task after one o'clock:)
Teaching anything is not for the faint of heart. Teaching while trying to maintain and protect a semblance of creative writing and performing space of your own is even harder. Doing this while trying to usher three teenagers into adulthood, might just do me in. But I am looking forward to the challenge.