A post is long overdue. I have been absent from my blog simply because life has become hectic and chaotic.
School, also known as work, as has consumed me and taken over my life. If I have time to sit in front of the computer I have been working on planning lessons, creating activities, and grading assignments.
Unfortunately it has effected the amount of time I have been at home, so I have been trying to work less at home while my kiddos are awake. It is unfair to them how tired I have been because of work, but we are trying to make the most of our time. Seriously, how can I resist mommy time with this cutie?
Aside from our district lengthening our school days to make up for the 7 snow days, a few things are happening in my classroom that are incredibly stressful and keeping me really busy.
I am thrilled to report that I am seeing the light at the end of the RTI tunnel for one child. It is a relief to know that I will be able to send this student off to middle school with a plan in place to help them. It has taken a village, but we have finally made some progress!
On the other hand, I had a horrible experience recently and felt incredible despair. Nothing like watching a train wreck in slow motion. I have done my best to pull in help from elsewhere, but time will only tell. What helped me through that? I knew that I was surrounded by a team that was in agreement, believed in what I did, and pulled together to make the best of an awful situation.
Being a teacher is never an easy job. Nope, never. Sure, some years progress smoothly and you see tons of rainbows. But even during those years, it is not a complete paradise. Some years are plain out challenging. Those are the years that you dig deep and work hard, day in and day out hoping to see success. During those years the acknowledgements about your efforts may also be non-existent.
That is the funny thing about teaching, you work hard without the expectation of praise or a raise. You do it for the right reason, for the benefit of the kids.
Well, as you can guess, I am having one of those years.The funny thing is this year I really love my job. It has been difficult. I wish I could work less and carry less stress with me. That just isn't reality.
Recently something made me stop to reflect upon how I feel. Instead of feeling like I should give up, I had an overwhelming feeling that I was where I was supposed to be, I felt that I was accomplishing things despite the bumpy path. I was able to recognize the little praises that were being tossed in front of me. The simple thank you from a parent, the smile and pat from an administrator, the hug from a teammate, the "ooh I love it" from a co-worker, the excitement in a child's voice about sharing something they learned and couldn't wait to tell me. Although gold and higher pay would be nice, those other things were enough to keep me going. That metaphorical silver lining was enough to keep me moving.
I love watching the kids learn, love the connections I make with them, and I love where I teach. I have amazing friends at school. Without them, I would be ready to toss in the towel. They keep me going and inspire me to do my best.
These feelings took a while to congeal. I have had them before, but perhaps my maturity helped me see it more. Or maybe I needed to see it more this year because it has been a tough journey.
Recognizing all of this has helped me become more at peace with the difficulties of the job. Accepting that the stress will always be there and learning how to conquer the stress instead of the stress conquering me is an essential part to finding peace. Reflection built my confidence, helping me see what I am doing well and what I can improve upon, then knowing that I can make those changes.
I hope that you are also feeling that sense of accomplishment and the inner peace to inspire you to keep going. Take some time to reflect and find those silver linings.