Monday, April 25, 2022

Rants of a Teacher

 I am a teacher.  I am a teacher in a world where there are not enough teachers.  There are not enough teachers because people don't want to stay a teacher once they get here.  There are not enough teachers because there is too much work for not enought pay.  There are not enough teachers because the teaching profession does not feel like a respectable profession, therefore, the younger generation are choosing to be other things and I don't blame them.  To make up for the lack of teachers, more work is placed on the existing teachers.  We hear complaints about these teachers...

I am hurt. When I said that I was jealous that someone was able to take a break, to take a nap after working from home that they said that I have summers off and holidays off.  Yeah, that's cool.  You ever give a presentation?  How long does it last?  I bet you that you don't usually have to convince your audience of the benefit of just listening.  I bet you don't repeat your presentation more than once.  Are you tired afterwards?  Are you bone tired?  I am bone tired.  I teach the most vulnerable.  There are meetings before and after my long day.  There is paperwork to do in the 45 minutes that I am given in order to be prepared for my meetings.  Bringing the work home will call for 12 hour days more days than I would like to admit.  I don't do it.  I'm a contracted worker.  I work when I'm at work but I usually work extra most days.  There is just too much to do.  I'm hurt and mad that people make it seem that I don't work enough.  Maybe that's my own issue but it's still disrespectful.

My inability to catch up the work gives me issues with my personality.  I have built up an inferiority complex that I am not enough because I can't do the work.  There are lies.  I know that the work is too much for the few that are working, but it still feels true.  Had I not been a contracted worker, there would be even more work still.  I would have data goals and other things to consider.  

Today I have to remind myself with tears in my eyes that it has been a bad day, not a bad life.  Some of it has to do with hormones, I'm sure.  Some of it has to do with exhaustion.  Another part of it is worry and dissatisfaction.  What would I do?  What do I want to do?  Am I brave enough to try something new?  I am finding that maybe I'm not brave enough to try something new.  This by itself is cause enough for alarm.   

I read somewhere something about how the public understands that teachers don't teach because of the money.  The system is taking advantage of educator's love and dedication to their profession.  Teachers are professionals.  We earn our days of rest and we desperately need it.  How long do you usually hang out with other people's children before enough is enough?  180 day is enough?  Have you ever met a kid that you mentally think, "Man, I'm glad I don't have to be around this kid!"  What about the teacher that is with the kid more than his/her parent?  What do we do?  We spend our own money and try to buy something to entice/bribe the kid to learn, for the benefit of learning.  I believe in education.  I believe in the power that education gives.  I believe that knowledge is truly power.  Teaching is a fight, and today it feels like I lost the battle.  

As teacher appreciation comes up, think of your teachers; not just your child's main teacher, their resource room teachers, their speech teachers, their OTs and PTs. Think of the school nurses and the secretarial staff who try to reach your child.  Take a moment and think of the teachers that helped you when you were in school.  

Okay... Rant is over.  I am getting off of my soapbox for the night and saying my prayers.  I will try to look toward my good God for help.  That's all for now.  Praise God!

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Sparkly Shoes

 I am of the mindset that feelings are arbitrary for the most part.  Yes, we should consider them and try and understand what they are telling us.  We should definitely pay attention to our bodies when we are tired, mad or sad.  This is all part of emotional intelligence.  HOWEVER, I am not sure that we should dictate our world and make all of our decisions based on what we feel. 

I'll give you an example.  One day, I woke up with a craving for pizza.  This is not weird, I always want pizza.  This day the yen for a particular type of pizza was really strong and I was looking forward to the time that I could go to the store and get what I wanted.  I get home and my dear sweet husband tells me that he wants tacos and just like that, my strong feelings were changed and I was okay with tacos. 

I'll give you another example.  I remember feeling down in the dumps as a preteen/teen.  And then, I would learn that my crush was coming and all of a sudden that depression or sad feeling would just sail away.  I promise you that I would become another person when he was around.  It was like I was lit up! 

Yesterday I confessed that I was tired.  Today I woke up and made a decision.  I put on my sparkly shoes.  You should see how I walk in these sparkly shoes!  I bought them for Easter and I wore them all day.  They are comfortable and sparkly and they make me feel good.  I got a great deal for them.  I'm still tired but I feel better about it with my shoes. 

Another thing I will do is I will make up my face in my favorite colors and I will wear my favorite jewelry.  Some times it is good to get your nails done or do your hair.  Go ahead!  Dye your hair.  I like to touch my hair up almost every week.  I love changing it and experimenting with color.  I love wearing lipstick.  I'm not telling you to be vain.  I'm not telling you not to read your Bible or pray.  I'm telling you to pray to God then remember who you are and what makes you who you are.

It is important to control yourself.  Proverbs 16:32 states, "Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city."  I'm thinking about all of us who have a tiny bit of road rage.  Friends, it is better to be patient. 

There are more verses in the Bible about self-control, self-discipline and controlling your emotions.  Remember yourself and who you are.  If this means pulling out your favorite shoes, then so be it.  This is what I'm doing today.  And for this I am thankful, for the little things that help me remember, I praise God.  Praise the Lord!

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Trial and Error and Error

Today is Easter Sunday.  I want to be transparent with you so I will tell you that I am very well and very tired. Let me clarify, I am in the middle of a transition.  As a result of being in this change, I am tired.  And I don't really know all of the particulars of how things will land. I am traversing a line and I have been trying things out and at this point in time, I can say looking back that I have made some mistakes.  I have learned some stuff but this era in my life is all about trial and error... and some more error.  There may be even be more error up ahead.  

Let me start with my attempt at healing my broken heart by trying out getting a dog.  I live in a beautiful townhouse.  The dog, as a puppy (we had named him Midas), was huge.  It took well over a week to discover that nobody would be happy should he stay with us.  And again my heart was broken again.  I didn't realize what a dog person I was and even thinking about my dear dog makes my heart ache.  I tried it but it didn't work.

This whole year was sort of an experiment.  I left a job that I had worked at for 10 years in one school and 2 years in another school.  Again, to be frank, I'm discouraged at the state of education in the United States.  There are clearly not enough teachers.  I took a contractual position working for an agency for this year until I figured things out.  The job called for more than the 3 special education teachers that were there.  As a result, there was more work to do amongst less people.  I don't know if you know this, but teaching is tiring.  Some of you think that leaving the house is tiring.  Some other of you think that giving a presentation is tiring.  Imagine being "on" for at least 6 hours of a day.  Your audience are people who don't really want to be there sometimes.  Is it fun?  Sometimes it is fun.  Sometimes it is heart breaking and it is always very exhausting.  I hear the argument that teachers only work 180-190 days a year.  But when you think of all of the work that is put in and all of the money, your own money, that is invested into our students and our classrooms, well, the work and the money don't match up and teachers are leaving in droves.  I don't blame them.  If God didn't have me where I was I wonder if I would be one to leave too.  But I love the babies.  This appears to be another crossroad that I am at.  It's a big one.  What would I do if I wasn't an educator?  I don't have the credentials to be what I want.  I may be closer but I may not reach the lofty goal that I was trying for.  All of this adds further the exhaustion that I am feeling.  I am not enough.

I catch myself singing "There must be more to this provencial life..." from Beauty and the Beast.  This is never a good sign.  How do I get the rest I need and the work I need all at the same time?  I think of my beautiful family.  I don't feel like I am enough for them.  I try things and when they don't work out, it leaves me with feelings of failure.

I am not a failure.  

So, I need to pray.  I need to go to God and bring all of these bags I have accumulated to Him so that He could take care of it.  I want to believe that this time in my life is part of the plan.  And I am not to worry.  Matthew 6:25-34 calls me not to worry about tomorrow and that tomorrow will bring its own problems.  Already I am feeling some peace.  And you should know that I am usually at peace with joy because I have Jesus in my life, especially today on the day we commemorate His ressurection.  I write these thoughts because I know for a fact that I am not the only one to worry about things.  I know that some people don't know what to do with their lives, with their loves, with their problems, with their worries and I am offering to you a solution.  Here it is: I try things and there is error but one thing I can trust in totally that has no error whatsoever is Jesus.  I recommend trying Him for yourself and seeing that He is good.  That's all for now.  Praise God!!!