I’m not sure how to start to describe the past month. Maybe I’ll start by saying that it’s true what they say – teachers do not get paid enough. And it’s not just because of the of the 12 or 14 hours days, breaking up fights in my classroom, chasing students down the hall after they bolt out of the room, being cursed at in English and Spanish, the paper balls and crayons flying across the room, or the fact that every morning on the way to work I feel like I’m going to throw up and have to keep repeating to myself ‘today will be better than yesterday, today will be better than yesterday…’
It. Is. Hard.
Let me say it again. It is hard, and I’m not good at it yet. For someone who is used to being good at things, it’s especially difficult. I know I will be a great teacher, but right now I’m struggling. It has been a long month. Some days I’m convinced that I can’t do it, but I make myself smile and I keep on repeating ‘today will be better than yesterday, today will be better than yesterday…’ and some days it is.
This week felt particularly long, but on Friday I had students in my room for a silent lunch detention and for whatever reason they couldn’t stop giggling. They were being so silly that at one point I had to walk away from them so that I wouldn’t burst out laughing, and then I did anyway. So we just sat there for the last five minutes of lunch, all of us uncontrollably giggling. On Thursday one student talked to me about the high schools she wanted to apply to and what she could do to get better grades this year. She asked if I would help with her application and write her a recommendation. On Wednesday morning, when I was serving breakfast in my room, I let one student DJ and I found out, to my great surprise, my kids like Call Me Maybe. And the moment when it clicked for T. and he ‘got’ prime factor trees and then went on do to extra problems! Those are the moments that I try to remember.
Every morning we start fresh. I smile and shake their hands at the door because I am genuinely happy to see each and every one of them. It is hard. And it is undeniably worth it.