The Bad Teacher

When I saw this on my friend Tanya’s page. I thought this was my confirmation to blog about #23.

23 years of teaching elementary school. I’ve taught 1st-5th grades in the inner city and in the most affluent suburbs. At the end of the day, it didn’t matter where I was teaching. Teaching is hard.

I’m a bad teacher because I love the memes that count down to the last day of school or secretly say what we are all thinking. I’m jealous of Eddie B and Jerry Brooks for their hilarious videos on social media. Why didn’t I think of that first?

I always knew I wanted to be a teacher at an early age. Harrison said he wanted to be a teacher after visiting me at school. I told him don’t do it! Was I wrong? Harrison has a gift and I want him to use it to make the world a better place. He told me that’s what teachers do. I guess he is right.

23 years, three districts, three schools. I’ve changed grade levels, classrooms and teaching partners. At the end of each school year I write a reflection. I focus on what I did wrong, what went right and how to refuel for another year.

When I go back and read some of the letters from years 1-5. I’m thinking this might be the bestseller I need to finish and not my memoir. I didn’t write a letter at the end of year 23 and I’m not sure why.

Everyone thinks I’m a bad teacher because I’m so excited about summer. No alarms, no rushing my kiddos off to the bus. No emails, IEP meetings, no field trips, fundraisers, spirit weeks, lunches or snacks. And I’m just talking about for Harrison and Sydney.

I need summer because I’m tired boss. I didn’t have a good balance on work and home for the past two months. I would love to blame it on an autism coma. But I can’t. I had to finally treat teaching as a 9-5 job. Knowing good and well it was far from that.

But then I’d get a message from a parent. I have 24 hours to respond but let me take a moment to put their mind at ease. And once I did that I would continue to work. No one forced me to “work” from home. But if I didn’t. My to do list for the next day would already have at least five things from the night before.

I’m a bad teacher because I did the happy dance with my tambourine when the buses rolled out on the last day.

I’m a bad teacher because I can’t wait to have a PJ Day with Harrison and Sydney. I enjoyed going for a walk with Syd yesterday. Something I never did while working. I gave all I could give at work and had nothing for Harrison and Sydney some nights. I felt bad that I didn’t have  the energy or patience for them.

I can’t wait to eat lunch without multitasking. I’ve read a book already in two days. I’ll be ready for book club next week. I guess that means I’m a bad teacher.

I need summer, to open my windows and let the fresh air come in. To watch a movie in the middle of the day or sit outside and stare at the sky. I need naps, and messy hair days. I want time to cook a meal that doesn’t go in crockpot.

I need to recharge my mind, soul, heart and body. I need to de-stress and be Brooke. Every teacher uses their summer differently. Some teachers work summer school. Some teachers take classes, work on curriculum and make smart board lessons for the following year. Every teacher recharges differently.

This summer I plan to have dates with my kids, and maybe this new man I met. I want to enjoy days by myself, go to the beach, read, blog, finish writing my book and the list goes on.

I realized I’m not a bad teacher. I’m human. I didn’t write a letter for #23. I wrote a letter for Brooke. And I love it.

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