Growing up, I spent a lot of time around teachers - my mom was a music teacher, and a lot of my parents' friends were teachers. My aunt worked in special education, a lot of church people were teachers; even our next door neighbour was my grade two teacher! I volunteered at the library, and worked at summer camps leading music and arts and crafts. I taught Sunday School and tutored younger students in reading and maths. And... I really liked school.
Looking back, it comes as no surprise that I became a teacher, but it's not something I've always pictured myself doing. Professionally, it started when I went to Spain for a year after university to teach English. Here I am, eight years later, and I'm still teaching.
I don't do it for the money - teachers in Spain are among the lowest-paid in Europe.
I don't do it for the fame and acclamation - it's not that kind of job.
I don't even do it for the holidays or working hours - I invite you to come to my job for one day and still think teachers have too much time off.
I teach because I have to. There are certainly other jobs I've done and enjoyed, and could do, but I always come back to school.
I like to learn, and I like helping others learn to learn. I enjoy interacting with people, especially children, in an educational environment. I like my mind on books. I like decorating my classroom and organizing curricula. I don't even mind writing report cards or meeting with parents.
Do I get tired? Yes. Are there days I wonder what I'm doing there? Of course. Do the children sometimes drive me crazy? You bet.
But through the bad, and of course through the good, I've got this still, small joy within me - I'm doing what I'm supposed to do.
When we follow the path that was prepared for us, great things can happen.