Teaching to Distraction
Some days, I wish I worked at a job where I could walk in, do my work, and go home.
But I can’t do that, because I’m a teacher.
- I wish that I didn’t have to put on a happy face upon entering the building.
- I wish that I didn’t have to hide my food, because any kid seeing it is going to say “Hey, thanks for bringing me that Bojangle’s,” or “Ooh, what are you eating?” or “Should you be eating that?” or “I can’t believe you’re eating that without giving me any.”
- I wish that I could hold a conversation with one person without having another person repeatedly shouting my name and sucking in their breath when I don’t immediately respond.
- I wish that I could talk to one student without feeling taps on my opposite shoulder or seeing the backs of someone’s hands repeatedly covering my eyes and asking “Guess who?!”
- I wish I could drive down the street without waving to everyone.
- I wish I could go to the bathroom or close the door to my room without having some kid think they’re entitled to enter at will.
- I wish that my students could see me working and know that perhaps their IMMEDIATE NEED to tell me who fell in the lunchroom can wait a couple of seconds.
- I wish that I could clean my dry erase board without immediately having to clean it again because of flowers and hearts and “I love you”s and “Your the coolest teacher” (sic).
- I wish that I could go home without taking the cares of my kids with me.
But then, it seems, just when I’m frustrated the most, someone comes along and makes my job worthwhile.
- A kid says thanks for caring about what happens to me when I go home. Thanks for asking about that thing that happened that time.
- A kid shares a funny story with me because they knew I would like it – or emails me a picture of an otter because they know otters make me happy.
- A coworker tells me I look snazzy in a new top and commiserates with me about the stresses of my job.
- A parent sees me in the store and tells me how much their kid has learned from being in my classroom.
- A kid brings me a cupcake that they made in foods class, making sure that it doesn’t have too much icing because they remember me saying that I don’t like the icing that much.
- People wave to me and smile at me when I walk in, because they’re happy to see me.
- My board gets covered with flowers and hearts and I love you’s and “your…i mean you’re…the coolest teacher”s.
- A former student comes to visit and says that the thing that we learned that they didn’t think they’d need…they actually did need.
- Heavens forfend, someone actually learns something!
And I become re-addicted to teaching all over again.