#blogjune family anecdotes my novel-in-progress teaching

On the relationship between libraries, teaching, and vocal nodules

I’ve been teaching ever since I can remember. Well, not when I was 4, or 5, or thereabouts. Of course. But since my early teens, I’ve been earning money teaching. Back then, it was teaching violin to children who’d just started learning, and whose parents wanted private lessons. It was easy enough – I knew how to play, and passed this knowledge on. At 21, I got formal qualifications in the field, and went on to teach kids as young as four, to students older than me, in subjects that varied from English and Music to Drama, Geography, Christian Studies, History, Dance – and there was also a Sex. Ed. semester long unit in the late 1990’s – to a class of Year Ten boys!

My younger brother commented once, “You’re such a born teacher!” He’d been staying with Hubby and I, and all of us were in our late twenties. I’d just finished teaching a private violin student, and was helping her to count out change from the money she’d paid me. Rather than just giving her the money (4 or 5 coins), I had asked her to count it as I put the coins, one by one, into her hand. My brother watched this, laughed and shook his head, and made the comment – which has stuck with me ever since. I realised that, ‘Yes, I am. Teaching is something that I love doing. Imparting knowledge, helping children develop skills, watch them develop attitudes – hopefully positive ones! That’s what I love.’

Back in 2010, I decided to qualify myself as a Librarian. So that, when my children were old enough to go to school, I could return to full-time work as a Teacher Librarian.

Life didn’t work out quite like that. I’m back at work, on a 7-day fortnight, in a permanent teaching role. And my kids are all at school. Those Library qualifications, earned last December, are just that. Qualifications. At the moment.

But the good thing is that I’m only working a 7-day fortnight. Which means that, every Monday for a while now, I’ve been able to volunteer in a Library for a few hours. And I love it!!! In fact, I would love to be heading there this morning. That’s what I was planning to do. And I was planning to blog this afternoon about it.

But again, life intervened. This morning, it was in the form of that annoying nodule on my vocal cords which sometimes decides to make its presence known. I developed it about six years ago, when I lost my voice for over three months. It was pretty bad. Speech therapy worked wonders though – however, at certain points in time, when I’m sick, it must feel neglected or something, and so it flares up. And that’s what has happened today.

I know that if I don’t rest it, it’ll get angrier and angrier, and I’ll lose my voice for longer than just a few days. So, unfortunately, home is the only place I’ll be at today. Home, and quiet. No Library time for me. And that makes me sad. But it can’t be helped.

On the upside though, I guess, I’ll be able to get stuck into that children’s book that I finished some weeks back. The one that I’ve been procrastinating editing. Because all the advice that I’ve read says: ‘leave it for a month’; ‘wait, let it rest’; ‘return to it with fresh eyes’. Or maybe it’s just because I’m scared. I don’t want to edit it! I’ve never edited a full work of mine before… because I’ve never written a full work before! But today’s lack-of-voice provides a perfect opportunity, so I’d best not waste it.

Hold me to it, dear reader! And have a great day yourself!

— KRidwyn