This August, I’ll be starting my 8th year in the classroom. All at the same school, same subject.
That kind of feels weird to say because it really doesn’t seem that long ago that I started teaching even though mentally, I feel like I’ve been teaching 50 years, but that’s a story for another time.
You’d think that because I’ve been at the same place for so long that it is the most wonderful, magical place to be- wrong. I’m comfortable and left alone; I’ve made my mark well enough on my school that I have a lot of relative freedom and input. See, what they don’t teach you in college when you’re getting your education degree is that it is all about politics and relationships- I think if I tried to get into my school now, I probably wouldn’t get the job just because of the nature of how people are hired, promoted, etc…
Aside from the daily disbelief at the education system, you almost wouldn’t believe the things teachers see, hear, and are asked. I have a hard time controlling my facial expressions, and sometimes, it is just too much. My paraprofessional and I have started a notebook where we document all the entertaining things that students say and do because you have to have something to keep your spirits up in March-May when it feels like it’s one constant full moon and someone has spiked the water fountains with crazy juice.
Wow- it sounds like you don’t really like your job, what are you doing teaching?
It is incredibly hard to explain the feeling that comes when a student finally ‘gets it’, and even harder to explain the absolute undying love I have for each and every one of those not-so-little rascals. Teenagers are SO. INCREDIBLY. FRUSTRATING. but, they are loyal and true to you when they know you are in their corner. I love my summer vacation, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss those not-so-little headaches when school is out. My students are an extension of my family, and that’s the only reason I keep getting up and entering the lion’s den each and every day.
The fact of the matter is-
With the current system and direction, our kids are receiving a worse education than we did. They are not challenged to think or explore, and that has got to change. But, it can’t; not without parents, educators, and students, etc… standing up and telling their State and National Boards of Education that this isn’t going to cut it anymore.
So, here at Teacher Talk, we’re going to share some of the crazy that goes along with being a teacher and living every day in the education system. Maybe it’ll shed some light for you as a parent or future educator; maybe it’ll give you a place to vent your frustrations or engage in healthy debate.
Whatever this holds for you, I hope that, in the end, we can all agree that something needs to be done to better educate and prepare future generations.