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You want me to what?

You want me to what?

I am exhausted. I haven’t written since the astounding announcement of my impending employment. I love having a job and going to work and the challenges my classroom presents, but man, this is hard.

I was amazingly unprepared for the insanity of all that is entailed with working in an “inner” city and public school. I don’t sleep, I leave for work at 6:30am and get home at 5:30pm. Then, after dinner I work until the girls go to bed at 8PM, but not before I check their homework or give spelling tests. I work while they fall asleep, and then until 10PM.

My weekends are filled with unending searches for the magic cure for behavior management in my classroom, only to find it’s now Sunday afternoon and I need to get my lesson plans completed for Monday and to be emailed to my supervising administrator. It’s not your normal lesson plans either: objective, common core standard alignment, focus, procedure, Special Education accommodations, and assessment focus.

There are Direct Instruction times that have to be planned out for Corrective Reading, shared reading, guided reading, centers, vocabulary and word study. Math lessons with fluency, applied problems, problem sets, exit tickets, and homework assignments.

Somebody please stop the ride, I want off for five minutes, or long enough for me to use the bathroom. I would start drinking, but I’m afraid if I started I wouldn’t stop. It would help me sleep better, but I’m not sure how effective I’d be in the morning with a hangover.

Teachers are extremely under appreciated and underpaid. Have you thanked your child’s teacher today? Do it.

So, if you don’t already know, I got a new job teaching in a primary school.  Fourth grade, pretty big school, what I would classify as inner city, and yet, I love it.  I have missed the days where I wake up wanting to go to work.  I love the feeling I get each morning when I wake up and I can’t wait to start over and try again with my kids if it was a bad day yesterday, or to continue the awesome things we did the day before.  I am insanely busy, I’ve never been to so many meetings, professional developments, and training sessions, but the adrenaline rush is enough to keep me going.  I’m exhausted, but I’m remembering what it is to push on and keep going, even after a ten hour day when I get home and the girls have work to complete, or instruments to decide on, or lunches to make for the next day. I’m in my sweet spot, and its awesome.

This is all so cliche and ridiculously ironic, but I am realizing courage comes in so many different forms.  I am paralyzingly terrified of the whole teacher evaluation process, but I am jumping in head first.  I am terrified of speaking with parents, ironic right? Isn’t it usually the parents who are terrified when the teacher calls? However, I am committed to communicating with them, whether it’s in vain or not, I will know I am doing the best I can for my students. Common core, PBIS, Kagan, ADVID; all of these new terms are being thrown at me left and right, and yet I find myself soaking it in, wanting to go to each training session to learn more, but practicing my time management skills and picking and choosing what is the most important.  Lesson planning: I have never REALLY experienced lesson planning like this. Last week was a painfully long and drawn out process that I never thought I would finish, but I did, and this week it was easier, and next week will be even easier.

All of these things are equally terrifying and exhilarating at the same time, and it’s awesome.

I can honestly say I have never worked this hard, and been this committed to a job before.  Nothing can compare to the insanity of these planning periods and team meetings, and trying to corral a abnormally small class size of sixteen, which will undoubtedly turn into twenty five after Labor Day, into learning, listening, experiencing, and exploring. This is a challenge and I’m rising to it. I can’t wait to see where this leads and how I can become better as a teacher.

If you had asked me exactly four years and sixteen days ago if I would find myself here, in this place, being OK… I would have looked at you like you were a crazy mo-fo and turned and walked away.  How could I go from that to this.  That was so ugly and nothing good would have ever come from it. But that’s how life goes, and I’m so happy with the person I’ve become.  Sure, I’m far from perfect and there is SO many other things I would change, but to become a person who doesn’t sweat the small stuff, who can see the forest for the trees, that is my ultimate. A lot of people might say its laziness or plain disinterest, but I know different. To go from a person who worries about the littlest, minute details that won’t matter tomorrow, much less in a week, is simply mind blowing to me, it’s huge. I am simply choosing not to worry about the things I can’t change, or the things that aren’t life changing. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s just that I can see the forest for the trees, I have been through hell and back and I can distinguish the life altering from the annoyingly tolerable. And I love it.

Look at me, living and shit.