Friday, August 30, 2013

On Being a Teacher

August hits teachers like a ton of bricks.  Meetings upon meetings with phrases such as "technology integration," "common core," "implementing with fidelity," "Marzano design question," and "learning goals." You start feeling professionally overdeveloped.  Then there is the implementation of all the aforementioned developing. And all the annual upkeep of a classroom.  You are sure to feel tired before a kindergarten-aged foot steps through the door.  But that's not what makes me exhausted and keeps me going at the same time.

Being a teacher is about remembering 20 small faces,  40 parent faces, and some grandparent faces.  It's knowing that so-and-so is your present student's cousin and remembering to put out dinosaurs because a student told you he loved them on Back To School night.  It's tracking down the OT because you need a wiggle seat YESTERDAY and finding the ELL teacher because you have a student that doesn't even realize how special she is because she's bilingual and is embarrassed to say she speaks Spanish.

Being a teacher is your husband already knowing half your student's names because you can't quit talking about them, even after being with them all day.  Being a teacher is finding bits of lamination film all over your living room because it's NEVER all cut out at school and you need it first thing in the morning. It's opening milk and peeling bananas and tying wet shoes laces (gag!).  It's hearing a little boy say, "When I go home today I'm gonna love you" and knowing that you had the privilege of rocking him and wiping his tears when his mommy left him the first day of school.  

It's convincing third graders that they are going to teach my kindergarteners to read and seeing them light up over it.  It's sending home a stuffed animal with a child so that he can hug something on the bus because it's loud and scary.  And then emailing his mom because you have another student that needs its the next morning.

Being a teacher is convincing your students that they are the best kindergarten class in the world before they believe it.  And then it's getting to watch them be the best kindergarten class in the world because they do believe it.   It's bringing your guitar to school to have Silly Song Fridays, which mostly just means I mess up the chords a lot.  It's being the Queen of the Mixed-Up Marble Club that gets paid in hugs and crayon and marker art.

And I adore it.  

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