Friday, October 19, 2012

Being a Teacher is Hard

And there is no way around that.

I feel like I hear stories all the time that end with the teacher saving some student's life or being the mother figure in the kid's life or changing the world with her music.

Let me clarify:

Yes. That happens. It's possible it has even happened already in my classroom. But, at least right now, at least for me, that is not the norm.

The norm looks more like this:

I walk into my school at 7:03 AM and already have 4 girls waiting outside my door for rehearsal. Early morning, no water, middle school girl rehearsal. Voices are whining and screeching and complaining rehearsal. Eyes are heavy rehearsal. Spirits are weary from the early hour rehearsal.

We sing through all our audition pieces and it is no surprise that only 1 of now 6 students has practiced since last week. I struggle through the songs with them, teaching notes I've taught at least a dozen times.

7:50 hits as the bell rings to go to class. I frantically head to the copier to make copies. Even though I was there until 5:00 PM the day before, I forgot to make copies. Again.

Copies in hand, I return to my first hour chaos. And chaos is usually the most appropriate choice of words.

I struggle, laugh, cry, sing, yell, and talk my way through 6 hours of classes. Six different times I let myself get frustrated. Six times I listen as my choirs and classes aren't quite where I want them. Some days it is six different times I lose control.

7th Hour comes and I welcome the silence that is Planning Period... until I look at the massive to-do list on the never-ending sticky on my laptop. 

And the reality is - I never get it done.
I never finish everything on my to-do list.
I always forget one so very important item.
I always feel a little more behind each day.

There is always something else. There is always an extracurricular activity I have to attend. Or a concert for which I need to prep. Or a fundraiser I need to count.

And when it all boils down this chilly Fall Break - I am tired. 

I am tired of to-do lists. Tired of the feeling of inadequacy that haunts me. Tired of the forgotten things sneaking up on me, making my stomach hurt.

Yes. Being a teacher is hard. But, using one of the most valuable tools I gained from my Pathways training, it is only hard. It's not too hard (although many days it seems that way). It's just hard.

And I can do hard.

So Monday I will walk into my school at 7:03 to the weary faces of middle school girls forced to wake up before 7:00 AM. I will have an all-day rehearsal on Monday, a concert on Tuesday, a fundraising delivery on Wednesday, and an all-day audition process on Saturday. I will be tired. I will feel inadequate.

But I will rest in the fact that my identity is not in the things I do and don't do at school. I am a strong, beautiful, confident woman who can make my own decisions because that's how God made me.

I will rest in the I AM who made my "I am" part of His story.

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