I love my job. I really do. I love everything I do and I love that I get to meet challenges head-on. I have made a new friend, Choir Boy, who reminds me so much of Actor Boy that it gives me a twinch (twingeish pinch) . My co-workers are supportive, even the kind of clueless one who left my classroom in such a mess that it that it offended me. (If you knew what my house and car looked like, you would understand the seriousness of that statement.
Most of it is good. One of my many challenges is the slow realization that the system sucks. (I know, Writer Chick, catch up.) The suckiest part is that during some downtime (Ok, during a staff meeting when my mind was wandering and I was too close to the boss to doodle dirty things.) I figured out that at my current rate of pay, which is a bit on the high side for a first year teacher, but I DO have those diplomas and degrees and credentials, divided by the number of children I see every day and multiplied by the number of teaching days in the year is 82 cents. I get paid 82 Cents per child to teach.
That’s tragic and sad for the kids. I think they are worth a full dollar. My daily challenge is to find the one that needs that extra 18 cents the most.
My lifelong challenge is trying not to think about the other 172 that aren’t getting it.
I have survived the first six weeks of school and the first grading cycle. I have entered my grades, comments and conduct reports. I signed ten pages worth of attendance records and figured out seven different ways to punt when none of the things I needed to fulfill my pre-approved plans arrived.
I am tired.
After grading tests, I discovered that most of my sixth graders think Aristotle is the House Manager. All of them knew “A House divided against cannot stand.” I guess success is not absolute.
My students all know the basics of improvisation and have introduced characters such as Tyrone, who is always calling people he shouldn’t at inconvenient times. Also featured was the six foot tall chortling fish who is, apparently, immortal. I have received ten unsolicited hugs, a few drawings for my filing cabinets, and a precious, unexpected and very real smile from one of my tough guys.
The ROTC sponsor calls me “Drama Mama”
My feet hurt in such a way that I now know the meaning of the phrase, “My dogs are barking.” I have a meeting every afternoon for the rest of the week.
I also got a surprise text from a kid I taught six years ago.
He said, “You’re the best teacher I ever had and the best director I have every worked with.” I thanked him and said his words were helping me get through a challenging day. He sent back:
“You got this.”
I think I do.
Onward into the next six weeks.
So tired I can barely sit upright. The last week or so has been, shall we say, challenging. I still feel overwhelmed, just not as much. I do love the job. I love the kids. I would miss each and every one of them if they weren’t there. I love them individually. Collectively they drive me crazy. There are some bright spots. Actually there are quite a few bright spots. I need to write them down so I can pull them out one by one to look over as I am grading tests tomorrow and the next day.
My divorce was finalized this morning. It took less than an hour. It took me longer to get my oil changed. .
I feel kind of hollow. I know there is the whisper of greatness in the wind. (The cheesy metaphor is a sign of how tired I am. What’s a Metaphor? Sheep!)
I have been discussing goals and objectives with my students. I asked them to think about where they want to be in the next few years. I have a seventh grader who wants to be a Navy Seal. One of my ninth graders wants to be a professional actor.
I one hundred percent believe they will make it.
When I turned forty, I asked myself where I wanted to be in five years.
I wanted to be a full time theater teacher.
There is more than cheese and greatness in the wind.
There is hope.