If you want to be a teacher you must have a sense of humor, you can’t take yourself too seriously and you have to love your job.
As a teacher, I always try to remember that I was once 12, 13, 14 and so on. There was a line back then. The stories I could tell! The stories I DO tell – changing the names, of course. You have to laugh about it. I mean, you might scream at the time, but when it’s all over you have to laugh.
I’ve had so many interesting things happen in my 13 year career. Kids pleasuring themselves in class, humping the chair, sticking a toy up their butt and making the class smell it, simulating “from behind”, refusing to stand up for the Pledge of Allegiance, crying boys, farting, burping, swearing, dropping pants, runaway girls, nose-hair curling B.O. and the list goes on.
It’s not only the kids you have to deal with (they’re easy) – you’ve got their parents, your bosses, your colleagues and the whole friggin’ community! It’s a hard profession to live up to but somehow we do. There are so many variables thrown into the mix when you’re dealing with kids and the enormous lot of people I just mentioned that your head may sometimes spin at the end of the day (if you’re lucky) and sometimes the entire day. That’s when you know you’re going to have a LONG week.
Long weeks are the worst! You know you’re going to have a long week when: your boss screams at you within the first three minutes of the school day, there are four subs in your wing alone, Joe S. just de-pantsed Billy B., you found a pile of “sh* *” in the stairwell, you stopped off in the bathroom to pee and sat in someone else’s piss, you got stuck in the elevator for ten minutes, the internet is down, you can’t access your files, you hear your name on the P.A. and wonder what the hell they want, your voicemail light is blinking incessantly and you can’t bear to check it, you have 50 new e-mails from parents and the CST, you have an IEP meeting and the parents don’t show, you forgot to run off today’s quiz, someone got their period and there’s evidence of it in your room, two kids just left your class with a stomach virus and didn’t make it to the bathroom, there’s an 8th-grader crying in the bathroom because her boyfriend dumped her, some kid just got sent home drunk and you broke your heel in the shoddy floor construction.
If you go back after all that it means something because you’re going back for more and more and more. Many first year teachers don’t make it far because it can be a circus. In my opinion, a circus that is definitely worth it. I love my kids despite all the drama. And I do repeat…
If you want to be a teacher you must have a sense of humor, you can’t take yourself too seriously and you have to love your job – and I for one DO.