Okay, I know what you’re thinking…
“Wow, what a wonderful blog title, Mrs. Webb/ Ms. Busch/ Mariah/ whoever you know me as…it sounds like you’ve been super successful in your teaching endeavors.” With a hint of sarcasm.
And I would tell you, “yes, I have been super successful at failing, learning, motivating, jumping through hoops, people pleasing, and deep breathing exercises.”
When I graduated college, I was was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (or as my students would say “lit”) about entering MY OWN REAL LIFE classroom. Like most other brand new teachers, I was all the words a thesaurus contained for “excited.” Like most other brand new teachers, those words disappeared from my vocabulary during the 4 days of “new teacher orientation.” BUT, soon returned when I met my first group of 14 year olds.
My first year in a nutshell:
WOW, these kids listen REALLY WELL, I love my job, I love my job. WOW, these kids just BOMBED their first exam, REALLY BAD, I love my job, I might be a bad teacher. WOW, my colleagues are amazing and so supportive, I love my job, I love my team. WOW, it’s already Christmas, where did the time go? I love my job, I love vacation. Wow, my life just turned upside down, I lost my mom to cancer, I love my job, I’m still a child, I need my mom. Wow, my students are truly caring, genuine, human beings who I think may actually like me, I love my job, I love my kids. Wow, year one is over. I love my job.
My second year in a nutshell:
GEEZE, this year started too soon, I don’t even have a seating chart created, HELLO KIDS, I love my job, I work as a teacher. GEEZE, I have to move twice in one year, and then once again the following, and I have to do this on my own time, I work my job, my job stresses me out. GEEZE, I’ve been gone for a week for Professional Development, my kids are a disaster, my administrator is here for an observation, that didn’t go well, I work my job, I am a terrible teacher. GEEZE, I’ve never felt so much pressure, I don’t feel like I can do this anymore, I work my job, I don’t want to be a teacher. GEEZE, that year lasted forever. I made it through my job.
My third year in a nutshell:
HEY, welcome to your brand new school, I am Miss Busch, soon to be Mrs. Webb, don’t worry, you’ll get it confused, as will I, also, comma’s are cool. I work my job, I am not a comedian. HEY, I know you kiddos are having a tough year, but I’m here for you. I work my job, I love my students. HEY, thank you for keeping me on my toes and pushing me to be a better teacher. I love my students, I love my job. HEY, it’s Christmas break, you made it one whole semester, see you in 2018! I love my job, I love vacation. HEY, I know you just lost another classmate, I’m here for you, you don’t have to pretend everything is okay. I love my students, I love my job. HEY, that is a very inappropriate but hilarious and surprisingly eloquent poem. I love my students, I love my job. HEY, I am proud of you for accepting things out of your control and doing your best to make the best of out those in your control. I signed my tenured contract, I love my job.
In reality, the nutshell’s only provide snapshots into three incredible, challenging, but rewarding years that remind me I am doing what I am supposed to do in this life. As a high school teacher, I often get the line “I JUST don’t KNOW how you do it” and often, I reply with “trust me, I don’t either, but I DO.” This next year I DO get to see my first group of freshman GRADUATE high school, I DO get to see a brand new group of freshman transition from “top dog” to “bottom of the totem pole,” I DO get to build relationships with students who I never would’ve known otherwise, I DO get to see students struggle but grow and achieve, I DO get to laugh and cry and yell and play all in one day, I DO get to make a difference, and I DO get to work with some of the most amazing human beings on this planet.
Now, for the list mentioned in my lame sauce title that everyone has been waiting for (inspired by Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel, “Speak”)
The Top 10 Lies I Told Myself as a Teacher
- Wearing heels to work is a good choice.
- I’ll have plenty of time to use the bathroom.
- Acting like you are having a great day makes the students have a great day.
- If I prepare my students for their test, they will all ace it.
- I will have so much free time to read and write.
- Lunch is the perfect time to run errands.
- When you’re on vacation, you won’t have to work.
- My work day is only from 7-4.
- Curriculum is set in stone.
- You aren’t a good teacher.