I believe that I was called to be a teacher.
Ever since I was a little kid, I was ‘teaching’ my little sister how to do things (she may have called it being bossy.) I loved helping others figure something out, organizing and creating something new. I absolutely love what I am doing; it doesn’t seem like I am working every day. I feel like I can walk into my classroom and create something amazing with my kids, or facilitate while they create something amazing. It’s like going to work to play.
Unfortunately, some don’t think that what I do is work.
“Any monkey can teach.”
“You are just a glorified babysitter.”
“I wish I could play all day with little kids!”
“You get all summer off!”
“You don’t even have to work until 5 o’clock!”
These are things I have heard about the teaching profession and it breaks my heart.
Yeah, there are crappy teachers that sit at their desks, make sure kids don’t kill each other and beat the kids out the door at the end of the day, but they are the extreme minority.
Those of us who care; who are great teachers go above and beyond. We work on the weekends, we go to conferences in the summer, we fall asleep on the couch grading papers while the cat chews the end of our red pen (just me? OK. 🙂
Teaching isn’t a job you can leave in your office; it follows you everywhere.
This is what I did today (Monday)
Got to school at 6:45 to make copies and scans. Realized scanner wouldn’t send email. Realized we were out of paper halfway through printing bell work. Unlocked my office and was met by the smell of leaving my uneaten lunch from Friday under my desk. Read emails, tidied up my desk, put things away, re-evaluated bell work since there weren’t going to be enough copies. Bell Rings. Talk to 5 kids about various things, including why kids weren’t selected for Show Choir. Talk to accompanist when she arrives about plan for the day. Kids come in without iPads; immediately send them to classrooms to get iPads. Bell Rings. Get class started on getting registered for Google Classroom. See who was absent during uniform fittings. Sign up to work concession stands for choir and pep club. Turn in late assignments. Punch incentive cards for pep club. Warm-up with stretches, vocalises, breathing and tongue twisters. Sing through Swahili piece. Work on Latin piece. Sectional for Spanish piece. Listen to Swahili piece. Interpret Swahili piece. Bell Rings. (this is 8:30)
Another class comes in. Repeat times 6.
New class began today (Show Choir). Go through handbook, expectations. Uniform fitting. Music reveal. Have student aide hand out pep club forms. Determine that the year is going to be awesome. Bell Rings, kids are dismissed.
After bell rings: Answer 10 questions about various things. 2 Kids come in to serve detention. Tidy room. Tune tubanos. Put away music. Put together to-do list for tomorrow. Awkwardly watch kids in detention. Answer emails. Call secretary. Place SAMS order for concession stand. Dismiss detention kids. Walk to office. Meet with parent and principal. Parents leave. Talk to principal about Man Caves and crazy people.
Walk out of building at 4:45 and point the car to Sonic for a limeade 🙂
Now add 30 miles of driving each way (including I-70 to I-435S to I-35 5:00 traffic) and here I am, tiredly eating Taco Bell and Advil watching Project Runway and writing this blog.
I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Yeah, I’m freaking tired all the time. Yeah I get sneezed on and eventually contract every illness in the school. Yeah, I deal with parents and kids acting weird and internet outages and unplanned fire alarms and junk, but wouldn’t it be boring if every day were the same?
I have the opportunity to teach 5 Choirs in the curriculum, 2 Music Appreciation Classes (7 total preps) plus I advise the 6th grade choir, the drama club, and the pep club. I am never bored. My secretary jokes that she would be concerned if there was ever a day that I wasn’t at the copier during my plan, (she might think I’m dead when I convert to totally paperless on Google Classroom!)
I may be a babysitter, but they will be well-educated, musician babies that have great discipline, technique and respect for adults. A monkey could do my job, but it would have to be a monkey that can play a duple pattern on a drum while speaking 3-2 clave in a percussion ensemble. I do get to play all day with little kids (that part is true because we are PLAYING music!) I get summers off to go to conferences (this year: World Music Drumming Certification at OSU, BIST training, JW Pepper Reading session, KCDA conference in Topeka) and my contract hours go until 3:30 so technically I can go home at that time if I want to freak out the next morning.
Maybe I am just a babysitting, cymbal-banging, music playing monkey, but at least I’m having a blast doing it.
How many other people can say they absolutely love their jobs and the people they’re doing it with?
Engineers, businessmen and doctors, be jealous. Teachers make the world go round. (Literally, teachers taught every successful person!)
KEEP ON TEACHIN’!
!Viva La Educatíon!