Sunday, December 26, 2010

Teaching knows no boundaries...

I have been teaching for 13 years.  Being a high school teacher, my kids from work seem to grow up really fast. I have a few kids that have begun to look at fire fighting in recent years.  One is a senior and a member of MFD's Explorer post - funny to see him at the BIT this summer.  Another graduated a few years ago.  The second student graduated in 2008, I think.  He has been part of the Butler Fire department (a tiny Milwaukee suburb) since then, as a volunteer FF.  He found me on Facebook chat this morning.  I asked how classes were going, he was to be starting Firefighting II soon, and I got a shocking response - he doesn't want to go into firefighting anymore because it is not conducive to starting a family.

I thought that was very interesting.

I told him, that I saw his point.  I am not sure I would have dated/married a firefighter.  I married an elementary school teacher.  I told him it is hard on this side of the story and we chatted a bit. My student's discussion focused on the fact that I  found it hard, and our relationship had already developed that friendship base that would be necessary to get us through.  If that was true, how could he ever hope to find the right one and start a family.   Our discussion lightened up a bit after that, but it got me thinking.

How can I help him realize that it does not have to be either/or?  How do I help him to find that you can have a family and be a tremendous community asset as a firefighter?  Especially since I am struggling to find my place in this firefighting world. Perhaps it is not my place.  Perhaps he just needed someone to see that not everyone is cut out for this world and let him know that it is okay.  I don't know.  Did I drop the ball?  Should I have questioned him more to make sure that this was not the fears of a girl in his life derailing his goals?  I don't know.  I do know that firefighting may have just lost a wonderful member of the up and comers, and that is okay.  It is not a world for everyone.
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