What an amazing, crazy, ride this school year has been! It’s my 19th year of teaching, and it feels like my 1st year in some ways. I have learned SO MUCH, not only about teaching, but about being a human being and working with others.
I have already written about the first part of the school year. I worked with two little boys who screamed, threw things, ran around the school and even away from the school, and were mean to other kids. I also got to know other sweet students at the same time. My heart broke for those students, who were victims of one of the other students, and got less teaching than they should have.
I could emotionally deal with all of it, almost, except the meanness. I have a very hard time understanding and accepting those who are randomly mean to others. And, if I would have had no end in sight, I would probably be burned out and in the funny farm by now.
Through dealing with that, I learned just how wonderful the staff I work with are. I always knew that most of the staff around me have my back, and most of them worked really well together to help those kiddos. This is hands down, the most positive workplace I have been in. Other situations have come close, but this school is the most positive and supportive I have ever been a part of.
Now, I’m facing another challenge: remote teaching these same little ones (they’re Deaf/Hard of hearing second graders) during this COVID 19 lock-down. One of them has a TBI and is struggling the most with learning from home. The rest are adjusting, I think, and some are learning more than I ever expected. And some, I’m just happy they are joining my Zoom meetings and can see their faces, even if they’re not putting in much effort in the work I set for them. What a strange time this is. And we are told to prepare ourselves to do it again in the Fall.
On another note, PTSD from past teaching jobs haunts me. While I love my principal, vice principal, and DHH admin, I still have no idea if they want me back. I have learned to not trust what I see on the surface, and that any small infraction can look horrible in their eyes, or skewed to make me look horrible when I know I’m a wonderful teacher.
Not to toot my own horn or anything… well, if I do have my own horn, don’t I get to toot it? That’s assuming I have a horn to toot. Not that I think I’m a perfect teacher and I certainly see my faults very clearly, every single day, but overall, I think I do a bang-up job!
I’m just used to others not seeing that, and seeing things through poop-colored glasses. And I’m paranoid that others are judging me. I bet this is common among teachers. Let’s hope that my bosses see me in clear-no-colored glasses at the very least. I do put in 150 to 200% effort!
I do hope I can keep on doing this. By this, I mean teaching Deaf/Hard of Hearing kids. I do love it for the most part, even if some days I feel miserable about it. I love my students, and I love teaching.
I do have other dreams… most of them made of the smoke from pipes. One, is being an interpreter again… not much pay, and the fact that I didn’t pass the NIC depresses me- though I do need to try again at some point. (And it’s another field where people tend to judge each other, not a good feeling.) Another is becoming a published author for fiction, be it adult, young adult, teen, or author/illustrator of children’s books. And, in crazy moments, a fairy or other creature at Ren Faires like Twig The Fairy sounds really darned good. All of these things don’t pay as well as teaching (and may pay nothing at all), and I do love teaching kids.
We’ll see what the next school year brings! For now, we’ve all just got to survive the next few weeks until summer break. And don’t get me wrong: I am very happy to have a job during this time, and a purpose in that job. It is just a lot of hours of work.
May we all come out of this sane, and in good relationships with those we live and work with. May those on the front lines be safe and healthy. As people pass from this life, may we hold on to the light and joy of living. May we all see each other again soon, and be all the closer for this experience. So mote it be.