ingham, QLD, July 2023
Well, I suppose my training [as a teacher] involved interdependence, which means you have to sacrifice your own opinions at certain times. I looked upon kids as being real people, an entity in the classroom, just like a family.
I told one new teacher once that this job really involved sacrifice. You've got to put yourself out, out of your comfort zone or out to keep that unity in the place. And I was amazed that they thought, oh, “what has sacrifice got to do with teaching?”. But it's the life you're dealing with.
Most of the time it's no pain. It's acceptance. And really, it even applies to marriage. I told my boys and girls that, listen, you're not marrying to change them. You've got to accept them, total acceptance.
I taught for 40 years and there were many times when you wanted to swear out loud or cry, but you really couldn't. You know, there were very sad things, very bad things.
I remember one of the boys, I never ever caught him, but if a bin lid was on the concrete, he'd jump on it. If a bucket was somewhere, he'd kick it and jump on it and so forth. If were changing the flower pots, he'd kick the pot and so forth. Well, when I retired, I dreamed I caught him kicking a pot. And I told him to “F-off", in my dream, of course. And I was so happy to be able to get it out at once, after all those years. I actually woke up smiling, real proud of myself that I did it.