What a crazy few days. I am starting to realize that teaching is the hardest, greatest, most frustrating, most rewarding, most difficult, most natural, most stressful, most fulfilling job I will ever have in my life.
I can't even begin to explain what this week has been like for me. Even if I tried, and took up pages of explanation, I feel like I could never convey what it is like to walk a day in my shoes. I try to explain it to friends, and my husband. And while I can give every single detail of the day, I feel like no one will ever really understand what I am feeling. I don't want that to sound like a bad thing, or like it's anyone's fault for not understanding, but it's just something that has to be experienced to fully understand.
I remember when I was a student in elementary school and being the teacher just seemed so easy. I don't know if it was easier in the past, or I just didn't have the right view of it. Maybe it's a combination of both. Maybe it's the socioeconomic status of the school I'm in that's making the difference. I certainly don't remember going to school with kid's whose parents didn't feed them or give them clean clothes on a daily basis. Maybe that's the difference. Maybe times have just changed that much....
I keep asking myself..."Is it supposed to be this hard??" I know it's a cliche thing to hear from a teacher..."I don't get paid enough" and "This is the most stressful job ever", but those two things couldn't be more true this week. Please if you ever hear this coming from a teacher do me one favor. Believe it!! I come home at the end of the day and want to crumble into a ball on my bed and sleep.
Any given day of the week I deal with parents, co teachers, Special Ed teachers, administration, scheduling conflicts, behavior checklists, committee meetings, professional development classes and the work that comes along with them, RTI meetings, instructional meetings, faculty meetings, grade level planning, head lice, fights on the playground, grading papers, checking agendas, organizing field trips, IEP meetings, attendance reports, home visits, christmas tree decorating contests, letters to the troops, PTO meetings, paperwork, paperwork, paperwork.....wait. I'm SUPPOSED to be teaching kids, right?? That's my job, to teach these kids, but juggling all those things I mentioned (plus those things I forgot) and still trying to give the kids all I've got is a balance I'm still learning to have. I never imagined all of the baggage that comes along with teaching children.
Does is sound like I'm complaining? Well...maybe I am. But I don't mean to be. I just really need another person to understand what my days are like, and that's pretty hard. I just really need another person to help me understand that what I am doing is impacting these children in a positive way. I love my job. I never want to do anything else except teach. And some days I walk away with a smile on my face and a confidence that I've got it all together and things are better than I ever could have imagined. Today though....today I'm tired. I'm pushing as hard as I can on a wall that is moving inch by inch and it's exhausting. The good part is, deep down, I still feel like the rest of this year will fly by just as fast as the first 4 months did, and when it does, I'm going to smile and wave goodbye to my fourth grade babies and know they are better, smarter children because of me. And THAT's why I get up everyday and go back. That's why I will continue to give my babies all that I've got....
p.s. one more day until thanksgiving break!! :)