Ihave always proclaimed that I will never be a teacher. There are just too many of this species in my own family and I have never taken to the idea of working long, long hours with limited compensation.
(OK, I am an idealist, but being surrounded by teachers, I know how dedicated they can be and how much of their jobs they bring home with them every night. Can the compensation ever equal the dedication?)
Don't get me wrong I love education. I think I may actually be obsessed with the process of being educated, to tell you the truth.
But growing up in the shadow of my mother's classroom, it was always something I swore I would never do. Anytime anyone ever asked me, "Do you think you will be a teacher like your mum?" a fast clear and vigourous "NO" has always been the answer.
But here I sit in a classroom, coloured construction paper on the walls, pencil sharpener in the corner and I am preparing a lesson plan. Oh, how life can surprise you.
So what am I up to? I am teaching summer school here in Hong Kong this summer and I am liking it.
Standing up at the front of the class, I don't feel particularly nervous or excited. After five minutes, it felt like I had been doing this for five years, which I naturally find rather unsettling.
Honestly, when I walked into that room of smiling faces, I didn't feel like I was walking into a room of youngsters - they felt more like my peers. Maybe this is because I still count myself as one of the students. The realization that the student chapter of my life is nearly over has not quite hit me, not truly. But I feel comfortable around students because, for the moment anyway, I am still counted among their ranks.
I have spent the majority of my life in a classroom. For some people, schooling beyond the compulsory is a dreadful thought but for me it is fantastic. When I think about the future beyond May 2012, when my degree will be complete and my undergrad student days will end, I draw a blank. The thought of no longer paying the student price and having to always tick the box that says "Adult" is daunting. How will I adjust?
So after my experience in the classroom this week, I have realized that being on the other side of the teacher's desk is not as frightening as I thought it would be. It may actually be, dare I say, fun.
No, I am not running off to get a BEd. degree any time soon but for this summer, I will enjoy the role reversal.
And in the process, I have gained a new respect and understanding for all the underpaid, overworked teachers out there because, as corny as it may sound, the work really is rewarding.
Naomi Yorke is a Port Coquitlam student who lived in Shanghai, China for four years, writing about her experiences twice a month for The Tri-City News. She now attends art school in Chicago, where she's attending art school, and continues her column. During the summer holidays, she is living in Hong Kong.