I don’t particularly like children. They demand attention and time, they can be really mean, and some of them seem to be in perpetual motion, which is just too much for me. I got my degree in secondary education and initially taught high school because I love the rebellious attitude, sophomoric delusions, and “who-the-fuck-am-I?”-ness of teenagers. So when I moved to Korea, I was shocked at how much I LOVED my kids. My elementary and middle school students were hilarious, insightful, and creative.
I have had the great fortune to stay in contact with a few of these students over the years; one of them recently got back from a study abroad semester in China. Before travelling there, she had told me that she wanted to live with her parents while going to uni because “Why would I want to clean, cook, and pay bills?” Now, having lived alone for three months, she has come back with platinum blonde hair, an effervescent bounce in her step, and a deep desire to move out. That happened fast! She had several conversations with her boyfriend while she was gone about how to best make sure that both of their needs were being met while apart and figuring out how to communicate in a way that was comfortable for both of them. I cannot imagine having the emotional maturity or confidence at twenty to have a single conversation with a partner about making sure my needs were being met.
The best part of being a teacher, hands down, is watching young people grow up and into self-actualized humans; seeing them thrive is a singular experience of joy.
On the same day that I had dinner with the student who went to China, another former student (who’s currently in her senior year of high school) got back in contact with me; we met for coffee, along with her twin brother, whom I’d also taught. They were suddenly both taller than me and bubbling over with excitement to tell me about their friends, teachers, and preparations for the test they’ll take later this year that will decide their entire future. We talked about movies, politics, friendship, and language, and I was blown away by their maturity. They’re applying for universities this year; I started teaching them when they were in fifth grade. That shit is crazy.
You may be sitting there, thinking: WTF I THOUGHT THIS WAS A SEX BLOG.
This post exemplifies why I started writing this blog. I am a whole human being – as are all teachers – and part of being human is being sexual. I date and I have a sex life. A non-monogamous, unmarried, bisexual, kinky sex life. And I am a caring educator who acts as a mentor – who stays in touch with her students years after they’re no longer her students. In fact, I stay in touch with their parents because I think children benefit immensely from parents and teachers working together.
In the past five years, there has been a litany of teachers being fired for having been an exotic dancer or acting in a porn before becoming a teacher; for dancing burlesque; and most recently, just for having nude selfies on their phones. All female teachers, by the way. Pretty sure no male teacher has ever been fired for having a dick pic on his phone – but that’s a rant for another day.
So, yeah – this is mostly a sex blog. But once in a while, I feel the need to drop a gentle reminder that it’s more than that. It’s a call to stop shaming (and firing) excellent, hardworking, enthusiastic, and compassionate teachers for being whole human beings. Teachers are out there in the world sexting, writing lesson plans, talking dirty with their partners, inspiring curiosity about scientific concepts and history, hooking up, and putting band-aids on skinned knees. Just as your accountant might go home and put in a ball gag after doing your taxes, a preschool teacher might *gasp* go on a date after singing “Old Macdonald” for the hundredth time.
This blog is anonymous because I could be fired for writing about my sex life publicly. There’s a part of me that worries about this all the time. All the time. Teaching is so central to who I am as a person that the idea of losing my job really freaks me out – but I continue to write because maybe it will encourage someone to open a dialogue. My kids and my job mean the world to me – but so does being able to be a self-actualized person like I encourage my kids to be.