I find that I complain on my blog about teaching a lot. It isn’t all that bad. I actually love teaching. I love seeing the look on a child’s face when I tell them they’ve read/wrote/solved something correctly. All teachers have a stressful job and I don’t think mine is any worse than others. It is just that I have had two out of three rough years with a lot of ups and downs. Admist the rough patches, I have had some great times with my students.
Most of the good times I have had come from silly things little kids say. One of my favorites is that it hasn’t failed – for 3 years I’ve told my students to say, “Present” when I do attendance, and a lot of them say, “President” instead. So cute that I don’t even correct them.
In the big picture, the best parts about being a teacher are the kids!
Another funny constant – the pee pee dance. All kids do it. I always can tell who really has to go to the bathroom and who just wants a break from class. Their legs start tapping, they get a crazy pained look on their face, and they start grabbing their clothes. It always comes on suddenly and out of nowhere. Sometimes they tell me too late and we have accidents….
I have had a lot of strange questions from my students. I always try not to laugh but it is hard.
“How is you having a baby when you don’t have a baby?” -Response: I am pregnant and that means there is a baby growing inside of me.
“Is the band Mindless Behavior mean the same “behavior” as the behavior rules we follow in class?” – no comment, how does one even answer that?
“Why you have brown spots on your face?” – those are freckles
“Do you kiss your husband?” – WHAT?! – “Ewwwwwwwww, “says the whole class.
“How do a cat have a baby?” – another no comment
And then there are the tall tales…
“My dad has a volcano next to his work – just like that one!” – said while pointing to the tornado we are watching on a weather video
“My Grandma went to Mars once.”
“I went to the beach yesterday and went swimming in the ocean!” – said on a Tuesday in December
“I saw Vice President Biden in the hallway.” – said about a tall white man visiting the school
“I went to Brockbama’s house.”
“I’ve been to Paris, and to Connecticut, and I am going to Norway too over Spring Break.”
No matter how hard a day at school can be – the tantrums, the disrespect, the fights, the chaos – I can always find something good in a day. Whether it is a hug, a sweet picture, or even an, “I love you,” there is a little light at the end of a long day.
Since I told my class I was pregnant, some of them have noticed when I start to get upset about something and they take over, and tell remind those students they are upsetting their teacher and the baby. They always ask how the baby and I are doing and some even want to rub my non-existent bump. These children are filled with love and I only give them love back. I cannot even count the number of love notes I have received this year from not only students in my class, but also students I had in previous years, AND students whom I have never taught. It breaks my heart every time I receive a note that asks me to be his/her mother when I know they either do not have one, or they go home to a difficult life.
I know I have acted ungrateful that I have the privilege to be an educator (b/c it is a privilege). I know I have whined and complained about my job – but it is what I chose to do and everyone has bad days. I chose to give children in a low-income community the great education they deserve. I came to work where I work on purpose. And I feel that I have given them my all.
If I were not moving, I would stay in the school system. I have had a lot of parents approach me since I announced I was moving. They were very upset that their children would not have me as a teacher.
To hear that from these parents makes me feel so good. It makes me feel like I did something right. I know next week will be rough and I am sure a lot of tears will be shed when I say my goodbyes… I can only hope that my little hard workers continue to be successful and someday come find me to tell me of their successes in life.