This piece was inspired by a heated discussion (Dennis Hong) had with a man who believes that teachers have an easy job. Please feel free to share it with others if you agree with the message.
I used to be a molecular biologist. I spent my days culturing viruses. Sometimes, my experiments…
S: I just finished the Hunger Games and I need a something low key. Like a teenage book
Me: You should read Bossypants from Tina Fey!
S: Omg TFA has a book? Bossypants? She (referring to TFA leader Wendy Knopp) would.
(5 minutes later)
J: The Final Four is gonna be here this year.
L: My students have 504s!
1. Save money.
2. Get skinny.
Close the achievement gap? Be awesome at my job? Run a half-marathon? Meet the man of my dreams?! Fall in love?! Score near perfect on the GRE? Travel the country? Watch all the Top 250 movies of all time, according to IMDB? Read more?! Learn sign language, french, and music?!
So many other things!!!!
I think I’m starting to really, really enjoy (maybe even love? maybe not?) my job. I’m in my ninth week, and I’ve finally gotten into the groove of calling parents, being organized and learning my students’ habits. And I think they’re finally understanding that I’m not just the strict teacher in the classroom (it’s only b/c I care, I promise!).
I’m still losing sleep, gaining first-year teaching weight at an alarming rate and my skin is looking as crappy as ever. I’m broke and haven’t eaten lunch in the last two days because I haven’t had time to go grocery shopping. Everything I own is slowly breaking—2 pairs of sunglasses, 1 watch, 1 desk lamp, my door knob, 1 tail light, my toilet, my bank account. I got my first street-light ticket last week and I owe an undisclosed amount of money to my neighbors for backing into their car. I haven’t spoken to non-teachers in weeks, I have no clue what my 12-year-old brother looks like now, and I have texts from days ago that I still need to respond to.
In short, my life is a hot mess and I’m miserable……a lot. But today was really great because I had some good laughs with my students, I spent all of my planning period running copies of practice problems because my students wanted homework to do for extra credit, and every faculty member I ran into today greeted me. I also think some of my steady learners are finally understanding how to use substitution to solve for 2 variables!! And another student got through an entire lesson on inequalities after so much complaining in the beginning of class that the lesson was whack (he even took an inequality worksheet home to do!!!). Two of my special ed students are literally thisclose to mastering converting measurements/units. SO MUCH WIN IN ONE DAY!!!
All the other stuff will work itself out, I hope. Gotta keep swimming for the kids!!