May 23, 2011

On Making Thankfulness Pie Out of Lemons

(OK, so I may have mixed a metaphor or two with my title. Whatev.)

On some days I love teaching. I feel as though the time is perfect, my pacing is great, and I can really enjoy some playful banter with the students on top of all our learning. I don't like teaching on days like today. Days where none of the printers work (which makes it difficult to print out things like tests, study guides, or applications for extra pages in my passport (that's right - my passport is FULL)), where last minute changes are constantly made, and where great plans that were set have to be shifted to not-so-great plans because of someone else's poor communication skills.

So, in spite of some frustrations with this school in particular, I'm going to list the things I love about teaching in general.

1. I LOVE having relationships with my students. I love being able to help them when they're having a rough day, and I love teaching them the difference between right and wrong. I love being a mentor for 15 little minds every single day (even on days like today).

2. I love that it makes me a better person. I am forced to be organized (which my mom would say is quite a feat), attentive, disciplined, and patient (which I didn't think I had a problem with before. Heh.). I have learned much more about myself and my weaknesses in my first two years of teaching than I ever had before. And teaching is great because you can see your own progress as you change behaviors you don't like.

3. I love that, for the most part, I enjoy my job. I actually enjoy spending time with my students and helping them to grow through difficult times in life. Sure, there are things I hate (grading a bajillion spelling tests every week/reading rubbish when a student was rushed with a project/putting up with the incessant buzz of the whining students/parent-teacher conferences) but those things are worth pushing through. I also enjoy the moments when both my students and I know that I'm being a good teacher.

4. It's selfish and vain, but I love it when students tell me that I'm a good teacher. It is just so encouraging.

5. I love that my job is possible all over the world, even in places where it might be hard to find a job. Teachers are everywhere!

If ever you are having a rotten day, I suggest you make a list of things you love about the frustrating parts of your life. Speaking from a fairly recent experience, it works.

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