Come on. Admit it.
Every teacher has had a moment standing in front of a class when a booming voice in your head screamed, “OMG! What am I doing here?!?!”
It doesn’t matter if all you ever wanted to be was a teacher. Or, if you believe teaching is an honorable profession. Or if the kids are adorable, funny, interesting, and a joy. There are just some days….
How to survive your days as a teacher –
A sense of humor is essential.
Saintly patience is required.
Loving to learn is necessary
Creativity and joy in teaching is obligatory.
Let’s start with a sense of humor. Oh yes, kids do say some outrageous things. Take the 11-year old boy who unwittingly told me a “dirty” joke, only to ask me, “Lydia, what are knockers?” If you don’t laugh…. Poor kid nearly fainted when I explained.
Then, there’s saintly patience. Try an internal, “Oooohhhhmmm” when the same question has been answered six different ways; when the vulnerable girl is excluded again; or when the “included” kid is teased but doesn’t get it. Mostly remember to respond as an educator, not an upset grown-up, an angry mom, a disappointed dad. It is a teachable moment and you are a teacher. Oh, and eighth grade boys can’t help themselves – hormonal imbalance!
Loving to learn is necessary. Where would I be if kids didn’t teach me about computers, social media, or a completely different way to look at “Clifford, the Big Red Dog” or Atticus Finch. The kids we teach are living in a newer world. If you are old enough to teach, you are older than they are! This is a chance to see the word in new ways – potentially weird but possibly cool!
Creativity and joy in teaching are obligatory. Having lunch with five nine and ten- year old girls in a tiny space created a joyful (and hilarious), teachable moment that indeed required creativity. The girl to my left began to stroke that nasty hanging skin under my chin, common to women of a certain age. Another girl yelled, “Amanda! Personal space!!”
Amanda continued and said, “But I love old people. They’re so fluffy!” Creativity came into play as we converted that loving moment into a compare and contrast lesson. Yes, I survived! I’m a teacher.
Laugh! Breathe! Learn! Create!
Have fun or get another job. Love teaching and kids or find another career.
Your colleague, Fluffy.