One of the nicest perks of my job is how much praise I get for doing it in the first place. Mention I’m a teacher, and people get all “Oh, I could never do that” and “Oh, God bless you” and “I don’t know how you do it. I’d murder those little weasels.”
I’m not exactly running an orphanage or tending to abandoned sick dogs, but yes, it does take a great deal of patience to be a teacher. And tonight, I think I figured out where I got that patience.
I play the drums.*
Band practice is a funny thing for a drummer. There’s a lot of waiting, just sitting there while the guitarist figures out a solo, the bass player works on his harmony, or everyone debates about how the song should start.
I can’t just bang away on the drums. They’re loud, distracting. The other guys have volume knobs, rendering their instruments more or less silent while some business is being done. Not me. I just sit there, waiting patiently.
And that’s where the patience came in. For decades, I’ve sat on an uncomfortable stool, waiting for a member of my band to “get” whatever it is he needs to “get.” And until recently, I didn’t have a smart phone to noodle with while someone tunes a guitar for the tenth time (Oh, if only I had had Words with Friends for the past decade or so). I just sit there and wait quietly. It’s exactly what my job is like now. I just stand there and patiently wait, for them to get it, for that kid to stop talking, for someone to hazard an answer to my question.
I don’t seem to mind. I’m used to it.