Friday, November 8, 2013

Kind of a mess of a post about being a teacher.

Picture retrieved from here.

I have wanted to talk about my new profession as a 6th grade reading and writing teacher for quite a while now. But blogging kind of falls towards the bottom of my priority list. In fact, I am still fishing things out of unpacked boxes from when we moved back in August. Also, I haven’t touched a vacuum, toilet scrub brush, or any cleaning equipment since I moved back. Awesome right? I can count on two hands (almost) the number of home cooked meals we’ve had that I‘ve made, and on another hand how many times I’ve done the laundry. So the fact that I’m even writing this feels like cheating, but here I go anyways. Since I infected Brandon with who knows what from that school of mine our bedtime was unusually early for a Friday night, which brought me here because as much as I want to, 9:30 is just too early for me.

I have had such mixed feelings about teaching that I can’t quite seem to put them down. And I suppose the round about objective of this post is to send a colossal thank you to all those noble teachers I’ve had, because I’m starting to get it. Because now I can see behind the scenes and along with everything else I feel, I feel bad for the grief I caused those poor souls.

Because here’s the thing, some, no most days I absolutely love my job. I adore the young people I work with. I come away feeling that I just did something really great and gallant and that I am achieving my life long goal of making some kind of difference somewhere. Those days make it worth it. Those are the days that I went into this profession for. Those are the days that I thought I’d have everyday. (Insert hysterical laughing here).

Then some days I want to throw in the towel. I sit myself down in my old, peeling, green wheelie chair, the one with the broken armrest, and have a good pity party that every now and then involves a tear or two, because after everything I’ve done, it still wasn’t enough.  After the 3 hours spent after school and 3 hours spent at home, and the worrying and planning and just the utter consuming-ness, it flopped.

And I realize I can’t get that involved. I need some separation. But this is my life right now. I feel so burdened and responsible for these children and I care so much. I worry constantly, thinking of ways I can make it better for them. Ways I can help them be better. And I know that’s not my job, but whose job is it? Someone has to do it. So I assume that duty because that’s what’s right and good.

So when my 14-hour day goes unnoticed and I feel like I’m a zookeeper, rather than a teacher, I just have a hard time bringing myself up again and going again. Enduring another day.

But when I see a good thing I said or did sink into their minds and grow into something worthy and right, something that they are proud of, I feel like I’ve won more than I’ve ever lost. When they say they finally get it, that is makes sense, I want to scream and shout, and let it all out. It makes me so proud to be their teacher, and so, so proud of them.

I suppose it’s those moments that make up for it all. It’s those moments, sometimes small and unnoticed, that balance out the amount of time and effort I’ve dedicated to this cause. It’s those moments that pushed my own teachers to endure one more day, because they saw the bigger picture and the importance of it all. So, as you ponder on the person you’ve become, please don’t forget the teachers. I'm sure, at least once, they helped you become YOU, which is kind of a big deal.