When I woke up this morning, I decided that today was the day to make everybody angry. In reality, that was not my intention. However, I’ve felt an overwhelming need to share my feelings on the matter. If I offend anyone, I apologize.
You hear it all the time-the whining, complaining, and the negativity. I’ve been making a conscious effort to stay away from it, as I tend to fall into the negativity trap quite often. Throughout my years of schooling, I heard the same thing, repeatedly: “DON’T BECOME A TEACHER. It’s a trap. You’re overworked, underpaid, and it’s not even worth it.” As a young, naiive freshman, I believed them. I was worried that my chosen profession was a dead-end, that I would be unhappy, that I would gripe about my troubles day in and day out. That I would become just like these women who were telling me to steer clear. The questions and comments flood in constantly. “How do you even survive with that salary?” Like anyone else, with a budget. I’m also able to get a job during the summer, you know. “The kids can’t be worth it.” Oh, they are. Believe me. When you see twenty-two eager, beaming faces looking up to you every day of the school week, when they’re excited to share their findings and successes with YOU, and when they are genuinely excited to come to school, it’s all worth it. Oh, and then there’s the famous: “We don’t get enough time off,” line, which kills me. What other job gives you every weekend at home, every holiday off with extended breaks, and an entire SUMMER off?!? No other job that I can think of. Trust me-I’ve worked a handful of different jobs, and none of them came with such great benefits and time off. It’s unparalleled, really. And yes, the pay could be better, but we’re working on that.
On that note, what other job gives you the satisfaction of seeing, firsthand, when a child finally grasps that difficult concept you’ve been grappling with for weeks, or even months? When your students write a paper about someone that they look up to and are striving to be, and it’s you? I get daily notes and pictures given to me by my students: thank-you notes for a great lesson and being a great teacher, and heck, I was even drawn as a princess this week, with a sidenote of being the “prettiest princess in all the land.” Talk about a confidence boost, right there. Kids are honest. They love you with all that they have. They aren’t conniving or pretending to be your friend. To them, I’m their best friend. During the school day, I get to shape and mold these children into the people that they will become. I have the most important job in the world!! I couldn’t love my profession more fiercely. Every day since school began, it’s been the best day of my life. No other job has ever given me the satisfaction that I receive from my classroom. I’ll take the runny noses, ruddy cheeks, and dirty hands any day over other professions.
I recently read an article about “Finding Your Marigold.” To sum it up, the article stressed the importance of surrounding yourself-especially as a new teacher, with the positivity that uplifts and strengthens you at school, rather than the attitudes that will bring you down. I highly recommend this excellent read! After reading it myself, I was determined to keep that article in mind and the words to heart.
Teachers, take note: we have the best job in the entire world. Don’t take it for granted, or get discouraged.