Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Keep on Keepin' On
Yesterday was a great day at school I didn't make any progress on my to-do lists of grading, filing and reading. I didn't really get a chance to talk to any other teacher friends. I ate lunch at my desk the way I do every day, and I wasted an entire lunchtime on Pinterest. But you know what I did do well? I had a great day with my students.
For some reason, yesterday was one of those days where everything worked the way it was supposed to. My kiddos came iwth homework done and attitudes ready to contribute to class discussions, and they were suitably thoughtful about a Holocaust simple photoessay we read. In writing conferences and class discussion, I saw evidence of growth, and they even laughed at my jokes. I walked out of school feeling good about myself, and they left my classroom with smiles on their faces.
The truth is that when I started teaching, I really thought that every day would be like yesterday. I chose to be a teacher to build relationships with students. To make them bookaholics. To get to watch them grow. To be the teacher they come back and visit. Therefore, my first few years of teaching were a shock. I got moved from grade-level to grade-level, and each time I had to reinvent the wheel. My elementary kids acted like, well, kids. Things fell off my walls. I screamed at them. I cried to them.
I'd like to say that those types of things don't happen in my classroom now that I've been teaching for five years, but they still do. It's a messy business. Sometimes, my students and I hate each other. Sometimes I am so tired that it takes all of my effort to repress my sarcasm and find my patience. But every so often, a perfect day like yesterday comes. A day to remind myself that this is what it is all about. A day to revel in conversations with my kiddos instead of just wishing that they would leave me alone.
Now, I feel like I can appreciate those days all the more because of their rarity. That I am better equipped to take a step back and figure out how to re-create it. I'm just starting to get wistful enough again to hope that with more experience, I'll be able to create more of these days with my students. After the stress and agony of last year, I'm finally starting to feel like making a leap to a new school with older students was the right choice for me. It's been over a year, but I'm finally approaching the light at the end of the tunnel.
The photo above is courtesy of Hey Girl Teacher one of my favorite daily pick me ups.
***Also, I wrote this whole post yesterday and it got deleted when I went to publish it. Wordless Wednesday will get posted tonight- promise :)