Sunday, January 25, 2015
We’re entering the 20th week of school, which means somehow we’ve made it halfway. To say this year has been hard is an understatement. Even the veteran teachers at my school are saying, “This year is worst than my 1st year of teaching. And that’s saying a lot.” We’re not really sure what’s different about this year, but it’s something. Something that’s making it really hard to do our jobs. Something that’s making 9-year veteran teachers resign mid-year. It’s rough.
So, this year has been a mental strain, and without the undying support of my family and friends, I might be one of those teachers handing in her resignation tomorrow (and believe me, I’ve thought about it). It’s hard to admit because it feels embarrassing to be struggling at your job.
These past few weeks I’ve been trying something different, though. Instead of getting frustrated or angry or sad when the kids won’t listen, I think about something that made me laugh that day. Usually I realize that whatever they’re doing is so ridiculous that I can’t be angry. Usually this is how it goes in my head: “Why am I fighting with a kid over whether he should wear a hat in class? That’s ridiculous. This is a power struggle over something completely insignificant. I’m being stupid and so is he.”
George and I have started asking each other every day after work, “What made you laugh today?” Some days it’s hard to think of something and other days it’s very easy. Some days I’ll be laughing at work and I’ll think, “Here. This is what I’ll tell George later.” It helps me stay focused on the positive things that are happening at school because it’s just too easy to focus on the negative. It’s too easy to bring all of it home at the end of a 12 hour day. But I’m working on it. I’m working on focusing on the things that make me laugh for the next 20 weeks and then I can laugh right out those doors.