As a teacher, we really, REALLY have to rely on the “little moments”…
Those few and far between flashes of RESPECT or kindness or awesomeness or just general hilarity that pop out of students unexpectedly. They’re rare, trust me…but they make the job worth every second of after-hours grading, tutoring, professional development, etc. etc.
I went to some of my boys’ basketball games last week and let me tell you…I didn’t understand a goddamn thing. What are all those fouls? Why are there so many different point opportunities? Does everyone HAVE to be silent during free throws? Anyway. The point is, I was there. In my teacher outfit, sitting alone like a lonely loner. With my lunchbox. Clapping when everyone else clapped. FREAKING OUT when my kid’s nose started bleeding and literally holding myself back so that I wouldn’t hand him a tissue and embarrass him. It was terrible…I was starving and bored and I just wanted to go home and they lost…badddd. But, but, but–it was all worth it when ONE of the boys said, “Thanks for coming, Miss” before he left, head hanging. And it was worth it when his mom came up and shook my hand and told me she’d heard I published a novel! I went home smiling, excited to teach the next day.
It’s strange…to hear and see so many negative things from students/fellow teachers/admin/parents every day but to still love the job so much after a simple THANK YOU makes your day…isn’t that crazy?!
Then there are times like today. Today I got up on a soapbox of no return. I wrote a student a referral for a comment he made to a female student that was definitely sexual harassment… I was so disappointed and angry. I said, “You know, you should really show some self-respect. You can’t respect others until you respect yourself.” And it was just so preachy and chilly and pretentiously thrown out of my mouth like a million little daggers and I hated it right after it came out. I meant it…but I knew he didn’t understand it, and I hated that. He’ll understand it one day…he might not remember me saying it, but hopefully he’ll understand it.
I’m not sure what this blog is really about. Teaching, obviously. Loving/hating the job but ultimately love blinding out the hate. Perhaps most importantly, the Ryan Gosling teacher love memes that have been floating around the internet for years. Take from it what you will. But definitely treasure those little moments–hold onto the good memories, try to let go of the others.