Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

As this school year wraps up, I've been spending a lot of time thinking about being a teacher and what that means.  I have determined that it is both the most rewarding and most heart wrenching job in the world.  And yes, I am including ER doctors and firemen.  Sure, they are "noble professions" too, but they make a helluva lot more money than I do.

So here it is - the stats on being a teacher, from my humble point of view...

Who? Crazy people.  Loving, caring, outgoing, crazy people.  I think you have to be a little nuts to deal with the ups and downs of teaching, especially in junior high.  And a sense of humor is a must.

What? Instruction.  Test making.  Book reading.  But also, joyous conversations, frustrating parent conferences, making each other laugh in the teacher's lounge, and occasionally stomping around in the empty girls' bathroom out of sheer rage.  And Bingo games, field trips, spirit weeks, and school plays.

Where? A million schools with tiny budgets, administrators in crisis, and businessmen in charge of the curriculum.  Again, crazy - but in a non-fun way. 

Where else? Colorful rooms covered in construction paper, short stories, marker stains, and piles of papers "to be graded."

How? Sometimes, I don't know how I make it through my day.  Sometimes I want to rip my hair out and drink large margaritas.  But despite the moments of appreciation being very few and far between, boy are they worth it, especially from that one kid . . . the one who glares at you when assigning an essay, who never wants to talk about his home life, and who once in a blue moon will say that he "kinda, sorta liked that book you gave me."  (And you know you've got him.)

Why? God knows.

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