Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday's Meditation: Teaching

As my good friend Seth put it... "Teaching= most bipolar profession on the face of the earth" and quite honestly I couldn't agree more.

This week was OUT OF CONTROL. And quite honestly this past week is the one of the first that I've felt like a "real" teacher. Now... I'm sure you're thinking, "Gee Sara, you've been teaching for 18 months... and you are just now feeling like a teacher!?"  And the answer is yes... I'm fu-hinally feeling the ultimate stressors of teaching.


And I don't like it. I knew coming into this second year that I didn't enjoy teaching, but for one more year of a great income and other added benefits it'd be worth it.  This year I've put more effort into teaching and lesson plans than I thought possible.

And this week I'd had it. I'd been doing a great lesson on famous cities around the world, gave my kids 5 weeks to study, basically gave them every question/answer to the quiz I'd be giving them, and when the game time came around to quiz them... they didn't know a dang thing! It was ridiculous. And the great part was... they were mad at me!!  My teacher sided with them, and they said they didn't want me to teach them anymore... not a problem. If they aren't going to do their job and study, then I'm sure as heck not going to put all this effort into students that don't care! Well... they ended up apologizing saying they were at fault, and that they would study for me. So I agreed.

And then the next period my first graders were fabulous telling me "Teacher Sara I love you!" It was great!.... Like I said... bipolar city... here I am!


Here's a picture of the afore mentioned turds.  They really can be a fun class, but they are babied like no other, and it's beyond frustrating!

I think other than the fact that I KNOW teaching is not for me. I am coming to the realization of what actual teachers (those that make it there full on career) go through.

Honestly... how in the world do you do it?? I feel so many emotions throughout one single day and it's stressful. It's stressful to actually care so much about the students and about them learning, to have them not care at all! And I don't even get to hold a grade over their heads... I have no way of really giving them a tangible score or grade for what they've learned in my class. 

One thing this job is teaching me though is patience. Apparently it's supposed to be a virtue, but for some reason I enjoy losing my cool and freaking out the Korean students. Seriously though, I've really been practicing my patience, and practicing my "showing love to others whether I feel like ripping their heads off or not" Because to be honest... love is the last thing I want to show to these kids sometimes.

But I'm called to love, be patient, and to give these kids a chance. Because quite honestly most of these students come from a really rough home life and I want to be someone they can trust and turn too.

I honestly feel like I'm losing my mind sometimes... how is it possible to feel so much compassion and frustration towards one group of students? Even now, I can feel myself getting stressed about it and feeling so mixed up about things.

I know God is teaching me things through this, and I know I'll be a better student next year because of it.

Until then... I'll just keep on keepin' on and praying for my sanity, because I truly feel like I'm losing it. I want the rest of my time teaching to be fun. I want my students to enjoy my classes, and I want to feel like I'm actually making some sort of an impact on their lives...in a good way. Please, please, pray for me!

So as we celebrate this memorial day weekend, give thanks to our troops and for those that have fought for our country.
But please... also give thanks to those that have fought for our education. For that one teacher who believed in you, who you could talk too, the one that really put a lot of dedication into your learning.

Chances are they don't hear your appreciation enough and honestly hearing an "I love you teacher sara" makes a world of difference:)

So Mom, Mr. Vieths, Maureen Tobin-Stanley, and many many others... thank you from the bottom of my heart. I truly never appreciated you so much... until I was in your very tough and bipolar shoes :)

1 comment:

Joelle and Mitch said...

I know exactly what you mean! Hang in there...about once a month I have such an amazing teaching day or find a unit the kids all love and are excited about, that it makes it all worth it. Or you can do what I ended up doing--go with a younger age! Seriously, the 4-5 year olds I work with are incredible! So funny, and are like little happy sponges...not to say every day is perfect (in fact, these past weeks have SUCKED) but when one says something like, "Joelle, you are the best, and so smart, because you invented sunscreen..." makes me love my job...FYI I did not tell him I invented sunscreen, he just thinks it because I put it on him everyday or something. Ok enough with the book of a comment!! Best to you!!