Tuesday, September 25, 2012

You often see teacher quotes which say something like "The best part of my job is June, July, and August".  We all do have that sentiment at times, but in reality, no one goes into teaching for the summer off perk. Good teachers choose this profession because they love to share their enthusiasm for learning with students.

I always said I would retire when it was no longer fun to teach. Somedays, I wonder if that day is closer than I care to admit. In reality, it isn't the students themselves that usually make me question another year in the classroom. It is more often all the other STUFF that goes on that makes my job difficult.

All in all, so far, this year has gotten off to a GREAT start. Last year was a tough year, a tough group of kids, tough circumstances in many ways. But even with the move to the high school, I feel invigorated and positive about much of what is going on.

For starters, I have kids in my room, my own kids, my own room, for 3 hours of the day. That is the part of being a special ed teacher that is the hardest - sharing. Even in the best of co-teaching scenarios, it is not perfect, and it is never, ever, never your classroom, taught your way.

All my kiddos this year, I know from past years, either having had them, which is the case with most of them, or at least, they know me, I knew their names, and we didn't have that initial honeymoon adjustment period to deal with.

Another great part is teaching math. I have 8 kids for 7th grade math. Most of them have a tough wall built, certain they can't do math, certain no matter what they will fail. But brick by brick I am trying to tear down those walls, show them success, teach them independence and offer them a chance at passing high school algebra when they get there.

The discipline issues have been minimum, though existent. But again, I keep plodding along, making parent phone calls, cheering tiny successes, and finding ways to create positive relationships with students and parents to make the year smooth.

I am still frustrated that my paycheck shows a huge downward trend from last year. I am still frustrated that the state and federal government thinks every child can and will fit their perfect mold of learning. I am still frustrated that much of my time is spent on filling out busywork paperwork instead of actually helping kids. I am still frustrated that some parents teach their child that the school is out to get them, and accept failure as an option. I am still frustrated that some teachers refuse to change and grow and be role models for students.

But all in all, when the last chair is upside down on the tables, the last grade recorded, I realize I still have the best job in the world. and for that, I am thankful....

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