A poet is activated by pure love. Can this be true of any other professions? A poet never ever does it for the money, it can never be, and surely even the most famous have either been only moderately well off, usually from an ordinary job. Philip Larkin stuck it out in a library in Hull. Dylan Thomas died broke… No doubt many other were teachers. I certainly don’t do teaching out of love. We had a dispute a few years ago when the management at the time wanted to include the word love into our values, our mission statement. I argued vehemently against it. I love my family, my wife, children and dog.
Not that the children we teach do not deserve love too, but school is the wrong place to look for that, and the word has no place there. I don’t even love my job. I like it. I tolerate it. I do it. It doesn’t make me unhappy and I get a lot out of it. But love? That’s a special word. And here I am writing about it while about to go back to work. I don’t mind, it had never filled me with dread the way some jobs might, I have fun. I enjoy it; maybe it even helps keep me young. So I don’t moan, I just keep doing.