A few weeks ago I was working with a high school student on a writing assignment. For a moment I thought to myself that I would love to teach high school English. Then Harrison walked into the room with some major attitude and Sydney was following behind him with some girl drama and I was like hell no.
I know I am the teacher that prays to Black Jesus for a snow day or a two-hour delay. My favorite months of the year are June, July and August. I post teacher memes that only my teacher tribe will appreciate. I want to write a book about my 20 plus years of teaching experience, but I think I should wait until I am not teaching in a classroom.
Teaching is hard, it sucks the life out of you on some days. Teaching will have you so tired you don’t know what day of the week it is, the people at the liquor store know you by your first name, you put your pajamas on at 5:00 pm on a weekday and you leave your keys in the front door or maybe that’s just me.
We answer to mom, wipe tears, give out band aids and tell kids to go poop before sending them to the nurse. We open juice boxes, open water bottles, listen to stories about their pets, and look at wiggly teeth, but Copher doesn’t tie shoes. We go all mama bear if something happens to one of our students, we cry about our students and we celebrate our students.
Our job never ends, not when the last school bus leaves the parking lot. That’s when our job begins, calling parents instead of sending an email that might be misinterpreted, copies need to be made, plans need to be in place for the next day and then we walk out of the building with at least four bags or more of things that we need to do in the evening. Many times we carry the same shit back and forth in those bags, but we look cute!
We aren’t perfect by any means, and we question if we are doing enough each day. When I came back to work after being out for my grandmother’s funeral here are some of the things that I heard in just two days.
-Welcome back Ms. Copher, we missed you so much.
-Ms. Copher how was the funeral? How’s your grandmother doing?
-Will somebody get Ms. Copher her ice tea please?
– Turn the fan on and make sure it is blowing on Ms. Copher during Shared Reading.
-Ms. Copher why aren’t you wearing your ponytail today? We like it when you wear your ponytail?
-My mom is reading your book. Did you write an R rated book Ms. Copher?
-Watching a student be my teacher’s assistant and hear her say “Well, I am seeking first to understand why this is taking so long, so I will just wait.” I was proud of her. You go girl!
I could really go on and on but I think you get the point. They are watching me, how I respond to my coworkers, to them and to other students. They know when I am tired or getting frustrated. Teaching can break you down and the next day make you feel like a rock star.
I don’t need anyone’s approval or accolades. I know my students trust and respect me. Even on the days when I have to take a minute and call on sweet baby Jesus in my head. I remind myself to only focus on what I can change because God has to work the rest out for me. I have no control over that.
~A Teaching Mom