Teaching is a calling. It is not your typical 9 to 5. There are many thankless days and nights. You have to take work home. Sometimes you sacrifice other activities just to make sure your lesson, unit, or whatever is just perfect. Whether it’s your first, fifth or 25th year, the call doesn’t change. You just get another year with a different set of faces to work on for the next 180 days. Some days are super dooper easy and awesome and then other days make you want to pull out your hair and question everything you know to be true about yourself and your gift!! On the easy days, teaching is sweet and you are full of the joy that propelled you into this career path to start with. On those hard days though …. I’ll speak for myself and be completely transparent and say on the hard days, I made it a point to outwardly say “This is for the birds. I’m applying to go work for the government and be done with this!!!!!” After I’ve had my tantrum, I sit down and take a moment to remember why I started teaching to start with.
Recently, I had to take my lesson to the whiteboard. Imagine the “horror” the technology teacher with technology woes and no PowerPoint presentation for my computer science class. The computer science teacher is handwriting notes really?? Yes really and you know what?? It was awesome!!!!!!!! And actually quite freeing to be honest. It was something that I didn’t even realize that I’d missed. One of the first exciting things that I realized upon being hired as a teacher was that I finally got a chance to write on the chalkboard! Seriously. I was soooo overjoyed that I got to write on and wash chalkboards and then put up everything for the next day. It gave me a chance to be sure that I was prepared and because I spent so much time writing things just perfectly and making sure I knew my content hands down and without stutter. In the world of PowerPoint, while convenient sometimes I lose that element. I don’t connect the same way with typing as I do with standing in the front of the board with chalk, well now marker in hand (does anybody use chalk anymore??), and writing. Now some of it could be because I like to write in general, hence the blog, but it’s always been something for me to write anything. Notes are my life I have them for everything! (That’s a topic for another day)
I shared my little story to remind you as we’re going along on this journey of teaching, to take some time to go back to your why! Why did you begin this journey? What’s your simple joy? The one thing that catches you from time to time but makes you smile from year to year and makes you feel completely empowered by what you do? Find it, hold on to it, ride the wave of it and when it fades then find a new thing. As long as you can always find your happy moments, the bad moments, even the most horrible ones will never outweigh the positivity that you feel from one small thing. Now, if it does, then maybe it’s time to do some soul searching on a different level. On this day full of hyper children who have already started consuming or anticipating the consumption mass amounts of junk and candy and on tomorrow when you’re dealing with the aftermath of obtaining all of the candy, find a quiet moment to remember your why or your small thing and I promise you, you’ll feel better.