I have a confession to make—this week was rough. We had two (overlapping!) fundraisers, avoid-the-intruder drills (due to the Parkland tragedy), near-constant schedule interruptions, one field trip, and way-too-many meetings. I’m exhausted just reading that sentence, and I was exhausted before I wrote it.
Next week’s schedule doesn’t look any better.
And for reasons I can only guess, my students’ behavior was jacked-up crazy, leaving me frustrated every single day. I tried every strategy I know—all of them–to stay sane. I kept my cool and the price was stress.
By Thursday night, I didn’t want to talk to anyone. And I ate eleven chocolate bars. (Not really, but I wanted to.)
I feel better today but that came not from any of my research-based strategies. . .a good night’s sleep and some time alone did the trick. Sometimes nothing works except rest.
I wonder in times like these, that try a teacher’s soul, what’s so great about teaching anyway? What would I tell my young friend Harmony, in school to become a teacher? She’s all bright eyes and excitement.
Do I tell her, “pick another major” or “enjoy your happiness while you can”? Do I really feel that way?
Sigh. No, I don’t.
What I really think is that teaching is like no other profession. Ever.
Here’s my top 10 list to soothe my own heart and remind me why I’m a classroom teacher to begin with. This list is for Harmony, and all the new teachers out there, still full of hope and excitement for the future.
- Children make me laugh.
- I grow brains.
- I grow character.
- I love big smiles.
- Children are real.
- Children are honest.
- I get to be creative every day.
- I could cry and laugh within the same five minutes any given day.
- I change lives.
- I change the world for generations.
I could tell a story for every item on that list but we only want to scroll so far. . .but couldn’t you think of an example for each?
Amidst teachers dying to protect their students, I know for whom I am writing: the real heroes of our world. I count myself among those heroes.
My son’s school called in the middle of the day to let parents know there was a threat but “everyone was safe.” I didn’t rush off to check him out early, because I trust his teachers and I trust the administration at his school, just as my students trust me.
After the threat at his school, my son told me he was afraid for me as a teacher. He knows I would give my life for my students.
So it’s been a rough week. It’s not all rainbows and sunshine. It’s also throw-up, flu, temper tantrums, and really long meetings.
What’s so great about teaching anyway? Everything.