Confessions of a Teacher

As a first year (8th grade Language Arts) teacher who’s living my “dream,” here are a couple confessions I have to make:

  1. This teaching thing is harder than I ever could have imagined. I answer approximately 30 questions per minute, most of which do not pertain to the topic at hand. I must have an answer for said questions immediately. I need to have a variety of creative ways to teach the same concept, because each of my 30+ students per class have unique learning styles, struggles, and strengths. I must accommodate each learner at his/her level, even when I don’t have the time or resources to do so. I must be consistent but also understanding. I must cultivate a sense of learning and excitement, even though students are dealing with incredibly difficult things and issues outside of school. I continually stare at data/assessments and contemplate new & better strategies to use. I must do a thousand extra things that don’t have to do with the actual teaching part that add an incredible amount of stress to my job.
  2. If there’s one thing that gets my gizzard it’s when I get email after email about the district fruit basket giveaway or some such nonsense during TEACHING hours asking why I haven’t entered yet or responded since the last reminder sent 5 minutes ago. NOBODY CARES, SHEILA. I AM TEACHING!
  3. I wish my students knew how funny I was in real life. I’m not really a strict, dorky English teacher 24/7. I’m a real person, too.
  4. If one more student asks me what the homework is on the way out of class, I JUST MIGHT LOSE IT. I have already written it on the board under the “Homework” section, I have already mentioned it 700 billion times during the lesson, and – in case you missed all of those reminders – I JUST SAID IT ONE MORE TIME RIGHT BEFORE THE BELL RANG FOR STUDENTS LIKE YOU.
  5. I’m so incredibly proud of my students. They are rock-stars. I wish they knew the incredible amount of potential & creativity they each possess!
  6. I get unbelievably hungry around 10:15 each morning. Carbs don’t count if they are before lunch. Period.
  7. My work day is not over at 3:45 P.M. And, yes. I do work on the weekends. I have 110+ students to care for. That means tons of grading & lots of planning. Not to mention recovering.
  8. I never ever feel like “I’ve got it all figured out.” I’m constantly self-evaluating, learning, improvising, asking for advice, and making changes to accommodate all my learners.
  9. Every “Good Morning, Mrs. Stroup,” smile, high five, or silly joke from my students means the world.
  10. If I could choose my career all over again, I would STILL choose this one. No questions asked. I enjoy the challenge. I love my students. I pray constantly for wisdom and patience as I shape the minds of the future.

To all my teacher friends out there, don’t lose heart or get bogged down by all the Negative Nellies & bureaucratic requirements — Don’t forget why you fell in love with teaching, but don’t you forget to take care of yourself.

To those of you who aren’t teachers & want to criticize our struggle, instead of sympathize — Keep your comments to yourself. We have enough unhappy parents that fill us in on all that junk.

 

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

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