Tag Archives: work

Yes, you should be a teacher

Mrs. Lee, I’m thinking about being a teacher, but I just don’t know. What do you think?
My former students ask me this question pretty often. My answer has not changed even though education has.
Yes. Yes, you should be a teacher. No other job is as rewarding as awe-inspiring, as beautiful and life affirming as teaching.

Yes, teaching has changed, and yes, everything is more test centric. Despite that, teaching is still an incredible job.

Yes, kids curse and question authority and their phones will drive you crazy. Kids always cursed and questioned authority. It’s different now for a lot of reasons, but that’s not just an education issue. And the phones are crazy, but walk into any restaurant and look around. It’s the same everywhere, and it’s certainly not just the kids. We get to be part of teaching society how to use those phones successfully instead of letting them control our lives.
Yes, teaching hurts sometimes. When your kids lose parents or grandparents or get kicked out or live in a hotel or come to school dirty and hungry or get involved in the slippery slope of drugs and alcohol or go through bad breakups or fail their STAARs or get criticized and ridiculed for work they were proud of or wreck their cars or drop out–GOD, that last one hurts so bad–you bet it hurts. And that’s why you will be an amazing and wonderful teacher. Because it does hurt you and you will do everything in your power to help your kids through the tough stuff. 

Yes, politicians who are beholden to banks and other special interests will make you crazy. Yes, the politics of teaching can drag you down if you don’t let it energize you. Yes, you will sacrifice sleep and money and health. And still, yes, you should teach.
Unless, the only reason you’re thinking about teaching is the decent starting salary. Because if that’s it, no, no, no, no. You don’t want to teach for the money, I promise. 
Teaching is hard physically and emotionally. It takes everything you’ve got to do it well, and there will be days you suck it up in the classroom, and those days can have terrible consequences if you’re not immediately aware. You will go home Fridays and crash. You will spend hours (and sometimes $$$) on lessons that fall flat. You will lay sleepless in bed staring at the ceiling worrying about a kid in your class, you will ask for unspoken prayer requests for kids going through struggles that seem impossible.
You will gain weight if you are not extremely careful or blessed with great metabolism or someone who works out constantly. You will work sick and miss moments with your family. You will sit through meetings wondering why on earth they didn’t just send an email or read emails wondering why on earth they didn’t have a meeting. You’ll go through great new concept after great new concept after great new concept discarding the one that came before for the new until your head is spinning and you can’t remember what you’re supposed to be doing.
And still, you should be a teacher.
Because yes, there is heartache and frustration, but there is so much more. You are changing the world, lighting a light, showing the way, challenging and enlightening and loving kids to success. And honestly, there is no better job in the world.

If you feel like maybe you want to teach, try and see. Give yourself three years to discover if the classroom is your calling. If it’s not, that’s okay too. You’ll still look back on your time with kids as an educational experience. If it is your calling, you have found an amazing life journey and the best job in the world. ❤️

Fun!

A handful of yearbook kids and three parents came up today and worked in the gym getting it ready for yearbook distribution. Our marketing director asked if we could set up distribution to be part of the theme experience. Soooooo we spent the day setting up a maze, making posters and taking photos. The best part, though, was when I got to show the kids who worked a preview of the book. They were so happy. 🙂 Days like this, I LOVE my job.

The only bad thing, a pair of shoes I planned on wearing to Europe hurt my heels today. Rethinking that plan.

Even The Best Plans

I planned on writing from 8-10 tonight, but DD stopped by for one of the first times since she moved out and asked me to go get brownie mix with her.
Family first.
That’s new for me, which I realize is sad.
For years I worked in the newsroom, dragging DD with me, leaving DH out completely. Focused on one thing: success.
And I found success. I love my job. It was fun. But I pushed my family to the side so often it’s crazy.
I can’t get that time back, but I can make the time I have now better.
Lesson learned: I had time to write earlier, but I knew I was going to write from 8-10, so I didn’t take advantage of it. Mistake!
I did get the writing in. But it’s 11 now, and I have no idea how I used to stay up until 1 and 2 a.m.
I’m falling asleep at the keyboard!

Bad Week

I hate bad weeks, and this was one of the worst since I was a relatively new teacher barely older than my students.
On the bright side, by the end of the horrible work week, I found myself focused on the positive: the kids working after school, the newbies taking on big challenges because the work wasn’t getting done, the way the editors work together, the look of the book, the people I work with. Life is good. And the job sucks sometimes, but it’s the job. Something I do and usually love that enhances life NOT life itself.
Nice reminder. It was needed.

Love Your Work, and it won’t feel like work

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Confucius
I don’t jump out of bed the minute the alarm goes off, throw on my clothes and hit the door running like I’m Wonder Woman out to save the world (although, if I looked like Wonder Woman, I might!).
BUT
I love my job.
I love the deadlines, the whiny kids, the strange directives from “down town,” the parents, the HORRIBLE new grading software. I love it. Every bit of it makes it my job. And my job is awesome.
If I teach my students nothing else, I hope I teach them to find a job they love so it feels like life instead of work. And I hope they truly believe they’re capable of changing the world.
We’re down to another few months before awesome kids walk to stage and start on their futures. I hope they take this knowledge with them.

It was all a lie!

No you can not have it all.
And I’d like to say the lady who made me believe I could is a witch.
Seriously.
I’m a product of the 70s. My mom burned her bra. She brought home the bacon, fried it up in a pan and made my dad remember he was a man.
My entire life I’ve been taught the harder I work, the more I’ll accomplish. That my motivation will help others do their utmost best.
Right.
It’s all a lie.
I’m usually a happy-go-lucky type of person. I smile a lot. I find the lemonaid in my lemons. Life’s just better that way.
Well, I’m here to tell you. If you think you can be a woman and have IT all, you’d better pucker up because there ain’t no truth to that cliché.
Okay. That was a bit of comic relief, but the reality is I realized today I can’t have it all, and dammit, that hurts!
I thought I could. I kept working, kept revamping the schedules, planning the menus, working so that grocery day could be one time a week.
And guess what? It doesn’t matter. I guess it could matter if I moved grocery shopping to 2 a.m. Sunday mornings, but sleep is kind of essential.
Two years ago I led a panel of high school publication advisers on a “how to advise and have a life too.”
I was still living under the false assumption that was possible.
I don’t think it matters what the job is, I’ve just decided there’s no way to work full-time and do a good job, be a good mom, be a good wife and write everyday while I’m at it.
I finally broke tonight.
Will I be fixed tomorrow?
Maybe. But I won’t buy into the have IT all mentality.
Because I can’t have it all.
At least not every day.
Instead, I’ll settle for having some.
I’m not real sure how I’m going to balance the some, but I’ll figure it out.
I can’t stop writing. It’s a part of who I am. I won’t let mom and wife drop. And I just don’t think I can do a “sort of” job on advising. It’s too important to my kids and school to have good publications. I’ve obviously got some problems to work out.
When I’m done, maybe I’ll write a book and go on Oprah. It’ll be the kind of book she likes. No HEA. Just a woman who’s come to realize she’s human.