Saturday, January 31, 2015

Work, work, work

     Sometimes work is hard.  No matter what kind of job you have, it’s still work, and it’s still hard.  Teaching is one of those jobs that doesn’t ever feel quite like a “normal job.”  The hours are great, and vacations and snow days (when we actually get one of those) are so nice…but it’s hard.  I’m not one of those teachers who walks around talking about how I have the hardest job in the world.  I don’t.  Compared to a lot of people, my job is probably cake.  Not even 200 days in a safe place with heat and air?  I’ll take it.  I’m so thankful for people who do the really hard jobs.
     That being said.  Some days are hard.  Some days you just have to walk out the door and leave everything on your desk because if you look at it for one more second you may never go back.  Ever.  On days like that you come home and feel like you failed your kids.  Why would they ever want to come back to school?  Of course they roll their eyes at me!  I would roll my eyes at me too!  But I go back.  I don’t even like to take days off…and with good reason.

1.  Kids are kids.  No matter where they’re from or what their lives are like, they’re kids, and they need people to be there for them.

2.  Do you watch the news?  I have to admit, I don’t love my local news station, but I know what’s going on in the world.  I have the luxury of watching it through my television screen.  Some of my  kids are watching it from down the hall or out their front doors.

3.  School is important.  I’m not some sort of after-school special over here, and there are days when I’m not the best teacher I could be, but how can people learn unless they’re taught?

4.  Until they’re old enough to make their own decision to stay in school or not, they have to be there.  It’s the law.  Why should I make it harder for them to do well?  If the options are to learn or be miserable, we’re going to learn.  Even when it’s hard!

     Honestly, I started this post last week after a particularly rough day.  I finished it today after a much better week.  Don’t let this post fool you into thinking that I don’t love teaching.  I do!  Please don’t think that I teach in some sort of dangerous concrete jungle.  I don’t!  I have kids living in great situations with incredible parents, but just like every other public (and probably private) school in America, we see all kinds.  Are there things about teaching that make me want to pull my hair out?  Evaluations, standards, changes, decisions from people who aren’t in the classroom… YES! 
     One of my kids asked me yesterday what I would be doing if I wasn’t a teacher.  I have NO IDEA.  I can’t imagine another job where I can see the effects of what I do each day so clearly.  All that to say…I’ll keep going back.  Even when it’s hard.

Some days it’s “Keep calm and eat the chocolate from the candy box.”

Friday, January 2, 2015

That Obligatory January Post

     I don’t like resolutions.  There.  I said it.  I think it’s great to want to better yourself, and some of the things people come up with sound like fantastic ideas.  Here’s what I don’t love.  January 1 is not magical.  Sure, it feels very fresh, and your house feels so much bigger without decorations and full of possibility, BUT it is not magical.  In fact…it’s mostly hype.
     After that downer of a first paragraph, let me be a little more positive.  If you want to better yourself in some way, GO FOR IT!  You can definitely do it!  It’s probably a great idea, and I hope you succeed!  If you didn’t make resolutions, that’s okay too.  If on January 17th you decide there’s something you want to do…do it!  If it’s not until March or June or September 45th, do it!  I love setting goals.  I love making lists.  I love accomplishing a task.  You don’t need January 1st breathing down your neck.  Goals are for whenever you make them.  January is great, but we have a full twelve months to do fantastic things, and whenever you start is a great time to start.
     All of that being said, I’ve got a few goals for the month.  Not resolutions, not life changes, not made-to-be-broken promises of greatness.  There are just a few things I’d like to get done.

January Goals
1.  Finish cleaning the baseboards.  I’ve done about half of the house, and they stay pretty clean (especially if you wipe them down with a dryer sheet).  I’d just like to get it done before I’m giant and have to drag my whale-sized body across the floor.
2.  Meal plan.  I’ve actually got a good jump on this one.  I made a list of about 20 or so meals for the month.  We shopped for half of them and in a few weeks we’ll do the other half.
3.  Pare down my clothes.  I got rid of a few things already, but I know there’s more to be done.  I have things I haven’t worn and things I’ll never wear again that really just need to go on.  They're not doing me any good.
4.  Organize Keith’s closet.  For some reason, my incredibly low maintenance husband takes up two closets to my one.  (If you’ve met him, this should shock you.)  One has his every day stuff and the other houses dress clothes, scrubs, and hunting clothes.  Here’s the thing though…he doesn’t even have that many clothes!  Now that we’re bringing home baby (who will need a closet of his/her own), Keith’s stuff is being relegated to one closet.  (Keith…if you’re reading, I’m coming for your stuff.  Move it or lose it.)
     I think I’m leaving it at four.  I’m sure by next month I’ll have plenty more to do, but these four are a good start.  2015 is going to be a big year.  I’ve got to whittle away at my to-do list while I’ve still got two free hands!  Now to the rest of you goal-setters…GO FOR IT!