Hello my lovelies! It’s been nearly a week since I’ve posted anything here, and I thought I’d do a little update to tell you what’s going on! (You know, so you know I’m still alive.)
So, apparently, this holiday crush of after-midterms-but-not-yet-finals is even harder as a teacher than as a student. (College’s got nothing on this.) And as a first year teacher who can barely tell you what I’m teaching on Monday, let alone what my finals will look like, this is insanely difficult. I mean, talk about flying by the seat of your pants. This is the first time in my entire teaching career (short though it may be) where I’ve been in the same classroom longer than 8 weeks. During student teaching, I was even bounced halfway through from one class to another!
And it’s such a hard job. I don’t think some people understand just how hard teaching is. I have roughly 200 students I see on a daily basis. And every day, I need to keep track of where everyone is, what they’re doing, checking to see if they’re learning (or even just paying attention), and trying to teach them how to be good people. It is so hard, you guys. I drown in grading, I fall asleep thinking about lesson plans, and I spend days questioning whether or not I’m actually making a difference in my students’ lives.
Though it’s hard (and severely cuts into my reading time), there are some really great payoffs. I love getting to know the kids. You just know some of them are going through rough patches in their lives and yet they still have this incredibly upbeat attitude. And some of them are finally finding their place in school. I love seeing some of my forgetful, average students turn into conscientious, responsible kids. It’s a slow change, but it’s so worth it when I realize that this student is turning things around.
But it’s the greatest thing ever when I see them have a lightbulb moment of some kind. Sometimes, it’s when we’re reading a book that relates to their lives. Other times, it’s when I point out what a Latin root means that they can apply to other classes. It’s these moments when I feel like I’m right where I’m supposed to be.
I love sharing books with my students. Though it sometimes kills me to see how they treat books, I love having someone come back to me and say, “Can I borrow this book, Miss M? I started reading it and I can’t stop.” (They always seem so scared that I’m not going to let them borrow it.) I’ve had students take some of my favorites off the shelves, like Divergent and My Soul To Take and City of Bones, and come back to me telling me they put the sequel on hold at the library.
I wish I could just talk about books with students all day long. I feel like that’s the fastest way to get to know any of them (as any reader will attest, you do find some of your best friends through books). And while I never seem to get any reading time of my own anymore because of these rascals, I love passing on to them this idea that books can be fun and interesting.