A few weeks ago I came home from teaching Extended School Year (summer school), vegged out on the couch with my son, and re-watched the series finale of The Office. I LOVE The Office! I can’t walk through a room and not watch it if it is on. Anyway, I forgot that the series finale was a real tear jerker. It was fun to see the friends all reunited and it made me think of my own transition to a new school this coming school year and leaving my work family. Leaving my old school was a very hard decision for me but I was getting really burned out in the program I was teaching. I knew that if I stayed I would become a bad teacher. So, I accepted a position at a new school teaching a different program. I am very excited to get started but so sad to leave old friends and students. My last day at my school I walked around with a lump in my throat that would not go away as I said countless good-byes and gave many hugs. I kept it together until I said good-bye to the last person, our office manager. The tears started rolling as I hugged her and I made a quick exit. It was fitting that she would be the last one I said good-bye to since she was the first person I met when I interviewed. She was always a warm, kind person who was quick to help me even when she was swamped with all her other responsibilities.
I bring up my exit from my beloved work home because I have had a sour attitude towards the field of teaching lately. Don’t get me wrong. I love teaching. I can’t imagine doing anything else! Lately, in our school district there has been a lot of strife towards the ‘powers that be’. A pay freeze was recently announced for all teachers and support staff. Woop-dee-do! To add salt to our wounds our benefits are getting more expensive. I am sure, like me, that many other educators right now have been rethinking their profession choice. Teaching can be a very thankless job. Teachers are blamed for everything wrong with the world. There is always some deviant teacher in the news or some talking head berating us and making gross generalizations. It can be and often is a discouraging field to work in.
So, I took a step back and thought about all the amazing teachers that I work with in the trenches. They are the teachers and staff that let me cry on their shoulders and the ones that cheer for me. They are the people that know just by looking at me if it has been a hard day. They have mentored me and supported me. They share lesson plans and ideas with me and put up with me when I am tired and crabby. They have also taught my own children and blessed their lives with kindness and firmness. They make it easier when everyone else is playing the blame game and our pay is frozen once again.
There will always be people that are lazy and just trying to skate through to the summertime or retirement. That’s true of any profession. I feel like I am a lucky person despite all the other rubbish. I am blessed because for the most part the people that decide to work in the education field are good people. They certainly aren’t there for the pay check just like me. They are there to help children, and in the long run make the world a better place to live in. I get to work with and rub shoulders with those awesome people and that makes it worth it! I have become a better person because of them! Thank you!