Friday, April 26, 2013

This Teaching Thing

This time of year is so hard. Hard for them. Hard for us. Just plain hard.
They're squirelly.
We're grumpy.
Squirelly + Grumpy = No bueno.
Welcome to high school.
I have wanted to cry a lot this week. Maybe scream at people even - sometimes students, but mostly adults. Things like:
"We have done this FIFTEEN times already!"
"Seriously, can you STOP touching each other!"
"Dude, I can see your underwear and I'm done."
"THAT is what you believe about kids?"
"No, they are YOUR kids too. Not just mine."
"Perhaps you should think of early retirement."
This is how, when you teach, you know it's Spring.
You begin to wonder if anything you have done or said over the last eight months has mattered. At all. Because they're squirelly and you're grumpy and IT"S SO FREAKIN' nice out that you just want to go far, far away. Like to a beach.
And then a student whose family just took her to a beach - a beach in Hawaii, for fun, during school - says to you: "Mrs. Smith! I have something to show you!"
She pulls out her phone, slides her finger acorss the screen a few times, and says: "Here! Look!"
And there it is.
While you have been losing sleep and growing stress-zits the size of Japan on your face, worrying if you have truly prepared them for that A.P exam coming up in two weeks, or about those ELL kids whose gains seem so painfully slow, or those kids who still haven't met standard on the state writing exam and were forced to take your remedial writing class - all of whom sit in your class, at your desks, and whose faces you have come to love - one of those faces sat on a beach in Hawaii and thought of YOU.
Maybe I can finish these six weeks without yelling after all.
Squirelly, but PRECIOUS.
I needed that. Really, really needed that.
This teaching thing is not for the birds.
But it is precious. Sometimes a little reminder is all it takes.