Yesterday was the first day back to school from Christmas Break. Thankfully it wasn’t too bad. The students, administration, and teachers were their normal selves…all of us trying to keep our energy up and our eyes open. Honestly, we really were happy to see each other. Apart from missing the luxury of waking up late and going to bed even later, we knew that it was Duty along with a light dusting of love for our student’s learning, that brought us back. As I often try to explain to my students, life teaches us about having to work hard even when you want to be somewhere else.
Little life lessons like those help me to appreciate my job. Like every occupation, there’s the good and the bad. Teachers must deal with parents that refuse to believe their child is not perfect and does make mistakes. We deal with times of feeling like the school’s administration places unnecessary or even unrealistic pressures on us. These issues along with the painstaking task of having to remember what desk or supply to not touch because we just watched your 12 year old dig in their nose and/or butt are not the highlights of our years.
Of course, there are many positives in the line of education that make us educators appreciate this highly stressful job. The opportunity to mold young minds and the excitement of watching a student finally “get it”. Noticing the growth of a low reader from August through November and even watching a child’s confidence grow during the year are the highlights we want to focus on. Another great plus, I can not deny, is the amount of time off given for major holidays and for Summer Break. Keep in mind that this allotted time off depends on the state and the district you teach in. Many people jump to the chance of becoming an educator because of having the summer months off. *Please don’t go into education solely for this reason.*
The thing is though, teachers don’t receive the entire summer off. We have PD days, also known as “professional developments” which are meetings to help teachers prepare for the forthcoming year. These types of meetings are also scattered within the school year. They are required and promoted to encourage teachers to remember that they are lifelong learners. We are reminded that these courses are a gift that enables the teacher to become better at their craft for the benefit of the “chir-run”😑.
Like many other employees, I despise meetings. I endure them because, like everything else, they come with the job. Now a days in these meetings one is not able to just sit, listen, and take notes. We now must move around and talk to other people in order to get the blood flowing. To also practice the teaching strategy of “think, pair, and share” which means you discuss what the presenter has just talked about to another person. The introvert in me says, “Hated It”.
I am literally being forced to meet and speak to people about information that hasn’t even sunk in yet…stuff that makes me say, “Wait, What did they just say?” But it’s not to just anyone, it’s preferred that I speak to PEOPLE I DON’T KNOW! The horror of it all! This teaching style is not differentiated for my learning needs. I need some modifications. Someone is not adhering to my learning style as set aside in my ARD paper work. #teacherjargon
But despite the dread of having to step out of my comfort zone…despite having to share my summers with learning, planning, and the teacher-bullying from parents and students sporadically sprinkled throughout the year, seeing the sincere smiles of my students does help me to ease those irritations. Like myself, the students try to hide the happiness they have upon seeing me after such a long time away from each other. It’s cute. “Happy to see you too sugar foot, but wash your hands first before we high-five, handshake, or bump. I know where your hands have been.”
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