‘I got into teaching because I really like teaching’
Abby, the narrator of Martin Riker’s The Guest Lecture, one of the best novels I’ve read this year so far:
And I will refocus on the good things I already do. I’ll remember that I got into teaching because I really like teaching, not colleagues and career advancement but teaching itself. Teaching is a way to feel a part of things and to contribute to other people’s lives, just as my own teachers contributed to mine. I don’t need to be famous. I don’t have to be a reincarnation of Keynes. Or Robinson. Kate Raworth. Raj Chetty. I’d be terrible at fame anyway. It’s only in its absence that fame appeals to me, in the paranoia petri dish of not having any. But teaching I’m good at and enjoy. I will find a job at a less fancy school, smart, not snobby, where I can focus more on students, less on “success.” My new job will turn out to have as many downsides as my previous job, probably more, and for a lower salary, but it will also have upsides, or I will find some, if I can manage to remember what I care about.