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.”

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