Thursday, October 30, 2008


Most people are sound asleep at 12:30 in the morning. Some are up tending to babies. Others might work during this late/early hour. I should be snuggled in my bed with pleasant dreams filling my mind. My alarm goes off 5 hours later, so it would make sense to be sleeping. Alas, this is not what life is like for this teacher. Instead, last night, I found myself tossing and turning (and trying to ignore Ben's snoring). My head was full of ideas. Honestly, I think I do my best brainstorming between 10:30pm and 2:00am. Go figure.

At 12:30 last night/this morning, I was trying to work out the logistics of our upcoming pep assembly. Finally, I pulled out my cell phone and typed up some of these ideas...pies, staff members, 8th grade athletes, the Ram mascot, relay races, trivia questions, food toss, Young Life games, and prizes.

You see, this is the life of a teacher that is hardly recognized. I know some folks think that teaching is a great gig - summers off, shorter hours during the day, great benefits. While those things are nice, I think it's important to note that for 10 months out of the year, my mind is constantly racing! Do you know what it's like to take your work home with you (whether you want to or not)? Do you know what it's like to wake up several times throughout the night with possible solutions for Johnny's inappropriate behavior? Do you know what it's like to hear a voice in the back of your head repeatedly nagging at you because there's more grading to complete? Do you know what it's like to work at all sorts of crazy hours? (One year I attempted to keep track of my hours. I did this so I would have some ammunition the next time someone ranted and raved about how "cake" teaching can be. The large numbers quickly became depressing, so I quit adding them all up.) Vacation time like Spring Break and Christmas Break are wonderful indeed. Unfortunately, it takes a few days to even slip into a vacation mode. Chances are, I'm still going to have to do some planning and some grading.

At the same time, I wouldn't trade-in the chaos of these 10 months for anything in the world! I have one of the greatest jobs on planet earth! I get to spend time with 7th graders! They are humorous, obnoxious, lovable, frustrating, challenging, rewarding, uplifting, draining, remarkable, enlightening, intelligent, humble, boastful, loud, silly, and intriguing! Each day I am greeted with new adventures. I am so blessed!

Although I've slept for only a few hours, I come to work eager to see the smiling faces that await me each day. I want them to feel loved and appreciated. I want them to know what it's like to be in a place where you are valued. So, I put on a smile - not a fake one. No, it's a tired smile, but I wear it out of gratitude. They deserve at least that much. In the end, I am thankful for all of the day's challenges in room 212. I wouldn't have it any other way!

P.S. Today we're making a graveyard for all of the overused words found within their writing - Dead Words as we call them. How cool is my job? :)


Kara said...

R.I.P.- like, a lot, very, said and really

e said...

Anne...I admire you so much! Having always known teachers I know how hard you work even on your "off" time. I am so grateful for those great people like you who love what they do and make a difference in the lives of young people!

Robin said...

Amen, girl! We did dead words last week- we even had a memorial service and buried them on the was fun, I mean memorable :) listening to them recite their favorite memories of using "nice" and "got" in their longer! Thanks for putting out there what we all go through- it's the best, like you say!

Anonymous said...

Anne, as a fellow teacher and night owl :) I completely understand your sleepless nights and love for your students. The teaching profession and especially your students are lucky to have you. Your passion is evident in your words and they make me smile in agreement. Did we ever think back in gamma when we were up at 3 am doing our laundry together that in a few short years we would be up changing diapers and making lesson plans?