“Just” Deleting

Posted on 15. Feb, 2016 by in Uncategorized

When I tell everyone that I work at an elementary school, this question usually comes next, “What grade do you teach?”
To which I reply, “I’m just an assistant.”
My reply always leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I’m so much more than “just” an assistant. But there is no way to accurately explain what I do. I’m a reading tutor, a data entry clerk, a testing coordinator, a playground/ cafeteria aide, a librarian, a crisis averter, and a friend to every child I come in contact with. The children just call me, “teacher.”
They don’t know I’m “just” an assistant and they don’t care.
One of my most favorite quotes is from Eleanor Roosevelt, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Whenever I use the word “just” before any of my titles, I’m giving myself consent to feel inferior.
I have a long standing relationship with the word just. It started when I chose to stay home with my children. Whenever anyone asked what I did I responded with, “I’m just a stay-at-home mom.” When I began writing and people would ask what I’ve published, I responded with, “I’m just a writer right now.” I wonder if once I get the coveted title of “author” if the word “just” will try to sneak in and ruin it all for me.
It’s time to find and delete the word just from in front of any word that describes me.
I’m a mom, I’m an assistant, I’m a writer, I’m a daughter of God, there’s no “just” about any of it.

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