That Feeling of Urgency

Does anyone else have trouble going back to school after Christmas Vacation?  I struggle with this every year, and I think I know why.  Two weeks off is too long!  Here's the thing: we have time to remember that we have a real life at home.  With these people that we call our family (and whom we rarely see during the school week).  We have time to reeeeeelaaaaaax.

Okay, I don't really mean this, but there is some truth here... we also know that when we walk in that door tomorrow morning we will be hit with that FEELING OF URGENCY.  You know the one.  Not the bathroom kind.  In case you don't know what I mean, here are some examples:

  • You realize that half of the year has passed, and you have not taught half of the standards.
  • You remember that you only have three weeks left to schedule your yearly review.
  • You can't find a lesson in the next three weeks that you actually want your Principal to watch you teach.
  • You forgot to make this week's homework for your grade level.  
  • You never planned for this week.
  • Your yard duty day is Monday, and you have no time to plan.  Or make homework.  Or go to the bathroom.

I could go on.  And on.  So here's my plan:  I will take a deep breath.  And go to work at six a.m.  Or maybe five. 


The Truth About Teaching

Let's face it.  We wish teaching was always fun.  We wish our students could spend all of the school day with smiles on their faces and light bulbs shining brightly over their heads - metaphorically speaking.  In the real world, this is simply not possible.  Sometimes the standard our sweeties need to learn is dull, dull, dull.  

How many times can we put a slash between the subject and predicate and circle the verb before we all go crazy bonkers?

I've been teaching for six years now.  Before that I had several other jobs, some that I enjoyed and some that I did not.  Here's the thing.  Teaching isn't a job.  It's way more than that.  Yes, it's a career.  But it's more than that.  Yes, I would even venture to say that it is a calling.  But that sounds so... serious.  So, here's what it really is.  It's FUN!  Where else can we act like complete idiots (for a good cause) and not lose our jobs?  Here are some things that I can do as a teacher that I could never do when I sat behind a desk at a bank:

  • Burst into song whenever I feel like it (extra points for Soprano Opera Voice).
  • Talk about my gorgeous, amazing, intelligent offspring to people who want to listen.
  • Wear pajamas to work (only on special days, but still!)
  • Use colored pencils, markers, crayons, and glue!
  • Talk like a ____________ (insert word(s) here, such as pirate, British aristocrat, cowboy...)
  • Recite poems about boogers and stinky feet.
  • Correct other peoples' children (you know you all want to). 

I love to hear my students laugh.  Studies show that we learn more when we feel relaxed and comfortable and safe.  So let's tell a silly joke.  And when a sweet English Learner's face lights up because she "gets it"?  Well, you've just proven that she's learned a third grade standard: homophones!