Thursday, January 25, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things I love about TEACHING

It's been a tough week, so I thought it would help to write down the things that I do enjoy and that do make me stick with this...

1. When kids look at me when they get something and say, "Miss, I'm so smart!" I love that! I love seeing them finally grasp something and have that amazing rush of self-confidence.

2. The kids I teach sometimes seem so formed and sometimes it's discouraging like nothing I do will change their lives. Like they've already made the choices that will define their lives. But, I get to be the one at graduation crying and hugging them after they walk across that stage. I only ran that last mile of the marathon with them and it's an honor to represent all of the teachers who loved and supported them over the years.

3. No matter how crappy a day I've had, no matter who has yelled at or belittled me, thrown things at me, or stolen from me, I know that what I am doing is worthwhile. Even when I feel like I'm not making a difference, I do know that I'm trying. And I just didn't have that feeling back when I was working for The Man.

4. When I get to be mom to kids who don't have one, or need an extra one. I love when they come to me when they're confused or sad or angry. I love when they come to me for advice and ask me my opinion. And you know, sometimes I just like being the one they come to when they're in tears and just need a hug.

5. Talking with other science teachers who are really excited about what they do. I love getting ideas and sharing things with them.

6. The challenge every day. Every day is different. Obviously, there's different content to wrestle with, but the mix of kids is almost always different. Their moods are always different. My mood is always different. Things that worked before don't work again. So, while it's often scary, it's never dull and I'm very rarely bored.

7. How, for the most part, people leave me alone. Yeah, there are idiotic demands for this that or another stupid form or calendar or timeline or roadmap or whatever. But, I go whole entire weeks without anyone coming into my classroom and harassing me. Sometimes I get all bent out of shape that I could be doing god knows what-all and no one cares. Or perhaps they trust me.

8. Opening up boxes of new materials. Unwrapping all the fun new toys and making plans to use them. And then, when I do and it's a hit with the kids.

9. You know, what? There are days when I think I'm good at it. Good at teaching chemistry
concepts. Good at keeping a classroom of unruly teenagers in line. Good at being there for them, being friendly without being their buddy. Being firm and making them toe the line when it's necessary. It's incredibly fulfilling.

10. Shopping for school supplies. Decorating my room every year. Stocking up and how excited and optimistic you feel. Even though I get nervous and dread having those loud, ratty kids around for the next umpteen months.

11. When the kids who hate you the most and who push every single button you have decide that they like you and are going to work with you. At the beginning of every year and every semester there are one or two who just get on my very last nerve and who seem to hate me passionately. Very rarely is that the case at the end of the semester and that feels great on so many levels. And often, they're the kids I end up liking the most.

12. Christmas Break and Spring Break. Having a week or two off to rest and recuperate and even get a little bored is fantastic.

13. Need I say it? June and July. The time to recharge and sleep and rest. The time to visit friends and get caught up with things. The time to go to training and meet other people who inspire me. Time to just take care of me so I have enough to give the kids when I go back in August.

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1 comment:

Kelli in the Mirror said...

Oh, and I bet it made you feel better just to post this! I loved #4 too. I had a girl give me a mother's day present one year. Her mom was dead. I cried.