I’m Being Upgraded by Shirley Kachur

At the moment, I am one of the many aspiring teachers throughout the Province of Alberta. I have just completed my first of four semesters through the Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary. Since September, 2001, Faculty in the Masters of Teaching Program have asked many questions of me, a student of learning and a student of teaching. One answer to one question, “Why do I want to be a teacher?” came in an unexpected place.

At Bradley International Airport in Hartford, Connecticut I was tired after spending the full day in air travel. At the Budget Car Rental counter, the lone staff member looked as if had been as intense a day as mine. It was late on this Sunday and I was anxious to get on the road since my driving needed to take me two hours north to a place called North Adams, Massachusetts.

She asked for my particulars – home address, home telephone number, and business telephone number. I responded to the last query with, “No, I do not have a business number.” “Oh, you’re so lucky!” she replied, the look in her eyes seemed to further imply she would be so happy as not to have to work and so late.

“I’m a student,” I responded. The lite conversation continued and as she handed me the keys to a full size car, rather than a mid-size I reserved, she concluded our relationship by saying, “I think being a teacher is so great. Congratulations! Here’s a car upgrade at no charge.”

As I sat behind the wheel in a rented Ford Taurus, I placed my hands on the steering wheel, smiled, laughed, and then proudly proclaimed, “I’ve been upgraded!” Yes, I am going to be a teacher and, indeed, I am upgrading myself – in so many ways.

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