How a girl with dreams became a teacher

Once upon a time, a young girl knew of only two things she wanted to be when she grew up—a teacher or a veterinarian.

To the editor:

Once upon a time, a young girl (my daughter) knew of only two things she wanted to be when she grew up—a teacher or a veterinarian.

You see, more than anything in the world, she loved children and she loved animals.

She realized quickly that she could never become the veterinarian because she couldn’t bear to see animals in pain, so her decision was happily made for her.

Every class she selected in high school was to secure a place in college (there wasn’t a university in her town then).

She graduated with honours and received the grad bursary bestowed by the graduating class which preceded hers.

She dutifully attended college and then transferred to university where she achieved her Bachelor of Arts.

While she worked her way through university, as do many young people, the young lady settled happily into another field of work that she realized she enjoyed.

She remained on this career path for some time but, while making a good salary and enjoying herself immensely, she realized after several years that there was a sense of purpose missing from her life.

She thought back to her dream of becoming a teacher and knew what she must do.

She put herself through school for a second time and became the teacher she’d always wished to be.

This teacher worked hard, paid her student loans for years, and went where she must to gain the most experience she could, teaching in inner city and international schools, as well as remote First Nations’ villages.

She learned as much from her students as she hoped they had learned from her.

With the hundreds of lives who had touched and blessed hers, she had reciprocated by nurturing spirits, offering hope and saving at least a few souls.

Beyond hoping that her students learned their multiplication tables or their literary terms, she sought to teach them to think for themselves, to master common sense, and to become exemplary citizens.

She was fair, caring, understanding and just.

She thought that these were the things that any parent, community or government would value in her work and in who she was.

Suddenly, she now wonders if she’s been wrong all along.

Donna Downham,


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