Many people struggle to find what they want to do with their life, their vocation, their passion. A large chunk of the population will work jobs that they hate, jobs they do just because they need work. With most of these jobs being some boring, old desk job, rotting in a cubicle. But some people find jobs they love, a job that they may have wanted for their whole life, or a job that doesn’t even feel like work. They say if you love what you do, then it isn’t work, and that is just the case for Bea Wakeling.
Bea Wakeling, a teacher at Orange Lutheran High School, has known exactly what she wanted to do with her life since she was seven years old. She knew from the start that she wanted to be a teacher. Inspired by her teachers, she wanted to be just like them. Her fifth grade teacher was the most crucial. Mrs. Murphy was the person who helped lead Bea to Jesus, she would give up her lunch breaks so she could help Bea catch up in class, and most importantly, she was there for her. Mrs. Wakeling still keeps in touch with Mrs. Murphy.
Many other job possibilities and possible career paths came to her mind throughout her life, like a detective or a coroner. Though those ideas came, they would never have the strength of the idea and goal of being a teacher. Though she isn’t done quite yet, as she wants to continue to further her education, and eventually be a university professor; more specifically, she wants to get a PHD in Educational Leadership and be a professor at a university. One thing she wishes she could have back is her time teaching at the elementary level. Though she loved her time there, there was always something more.
Bea believes that there is nothing more powerful than making someone feel seen and cared for. Helping people, and hoping to make her students feel that exact way, is what drives Mrs. Wakeling’s love of teaching. She believes that if she can make her students feel that way, then they will be more willing to learn or at least try to learn. Teaching always sounded heroic to her, to invest and put that time and effort into the future generations. This year, so far, has shown Mrs. Wakeling how much she loves teaching, and she wishes she could teach more. Mrs. Wakeling is beyond happy with teaching, she loves the interactions with the kids and how much joy is in teaching.
Bea supposes that there is no real joy in a lot of real world desk jobs. At an office or desk, there is no creativity, unlike how much joy there is with teaching, mixed with a tiny bit of chaos, which helps make teaching that much more special. She has learned so much from each of her years teaching, from elementary to high school, each year has made who she is and love teaching more and more. One of her professors once told her class to never be the teacher that phones it in and does that bear minimum lesson plan; she would love to tell every teacher to never stop growing, changing and learning, and to not phone it in and do the bare minimum, and something she hopes she will never do.
Bea Wakeling continues to be a loved teacher by many, to whom many confide in. She is, and will alway be, remembered for how much she cares about every student, as well as her passion for teaching. Bea is the standard for not only a teacher, but a human as well, showing how one’s passion can truly shape the lives of many.
Photo Credit: Orange Lutheran