Walt Whitman worked for a while as a teacher in series of windowless, poorly heated, one-room schoolhouses for almost no money. While teaching at one school, he wrote to a friend, "How tired and sick I am of this wretched, wretched hole! — ... O, damnation, damnation! Thy other name is school-teaching." --- from The Writer's Almanac
There's an old saying that goes, "Those who can, do. Those who can't, write." Or there is the other adage, "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." Though I don't always like my job (and who doesn't hate their job at times), I have a problem with people who believe this. In one aspect, I sometimes wish I could devote my entire day to my writing. I feel I would not only become better at it, but would eventually find a publisher and be able to sell my work. However, I have a family to support, and no guarantee that weeks and months and years of writing would produce a New York Times best seller, thus pulling me out of the grips of poverty. So I teach. People who have never taught have trouble understanding that it takes more than knowing something to teach it. I know a little bit about a lot of things, and a lot about some things, but getting in front of people who generally have no interest in what you are saying to begin with, and present this lesson of information in such a way to be both interesting and entertaining, is a daunting task. Then there is the issue of maintaining discipline in the classroom. Some teachers are such pushovers that students can get away with anything and, therefore, learn nothing. There are also some teachers that are so strict that flexibility and creativity are stifled and learning becomes a military drill that most students buckle under and give up. I would say that managing behavior and discipline in class is three-fourths the job of teaching in a public school, and if that can't be accomplished it doesn't matter how brilliant of a mind the person has. I can do any job that someone throws at me, and I have done many (dishwasher, busboy, pizza delivery, meat clerk, landscaping), but the hardest job I have ever worked at is what I am doing now, teaching. And its the hardest jobs that one must love in order to keep coming back to it day after day.
So as much as I agree with Whitman's sentiment above, I will have to say that I do "do." I live, I write, I teach.