Monday, January 4, 2016

Teacher Pep Talk: January Dread

Its that time of year again...January. We finally gasped a sigh of relief when the last few weeks of December arrived, but now it's back to the races again with a whole new semester ahead. I'm not going to lie, Christmas break is one of the best perks about being a teacher. I mean seriously teachers have a schedule that is pretty desirable (stay at home moms you may take the cake), but anyone who is a teacher knows that when school is in session (and even when it's not) we work hard. EXTREMELY HARD. If you don't believe me ask any teacher who's been in the business for a while. So its around this time of year that I sometimes battle to find the motivation to want to return to school. Trust me I know, because this morning I dragged my tired self out of bed and spilt my chai tea latte on myself rushing to get back to the brick building that I call home 9 months of the year.

As I struggle through the door of my classroom again I had to ask myself, "why am I dreading this?" Of course the obvious, "well I could be at home right now watching the new episode of Downton Abbey in my sweatpants" answer flooded through my head, but then I remembered why I love my job...

I love my job because I love teenagers! Period. Each and every one of them remind me of a new intrinsic puzzle just waiting to be opened, studied and solved. I am always excited for the challenge of "getting to know them personally".  As I looked through my roster, sure there were some hesitations and some "oh man how in the world am I going to arrange this seating chart" moments, but then I remembered again why I love them. They remind me of brand new instruments: we have the loud ones, the brassy and sassy ones and ones probably a little off key, but yet each unique piece has its place in the rock concert that we call "high school" (I would relate it to a orchestral symphony, but lets face it that's not the reality of a high school).  Anyway, looking back at the moments of calm and the moments of chaos, I still return to the fact that I'm so grateful to have the privilege of playing an important conductor for a small time in their lives.

So here's just a quick reminder to all the teachers out there who may be struggling with that "January dread" like I was this morning. Look back at the reasons why you fell in love with this wonderful profession we call teaching. Look back at the joys and the success that you've had. Look back at the kids who have touched your heart and choose to approach this semester with a positive smile on your face. Even if the "thank you's" are few and far between remind yourself daily why you do what you do. Remember that this gift of teaching is incredibly valuable (not everyone is cut out for it) and your influence doesn't simply end at 3pm each day. WE are the inspirers, dream shapers and the biggest cheerleaders for this upcoming generation. Let's choose to make this next semester the best we've ever had...

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