I’ve been thinking quite a bit this weekend, about the shooting at Arapahoe HS in CO, about my classes and students, about students in general, and about teaching. I have gone through a myriad of emotions, crying and laughing, although I doubt anyone would see any sanity in either one of these or what I was reacting to at the time. My heart hurts. I hurt for the students and teachers who had to experience the fear they went through on Friday; I hurt for my students and their lack of concern for themselves, their lives or their dreams; I hurt for the educators who work with students daily, struggling to find interesting and informative ways to teach things that are of no interest to the students; and I hurt for me and my struggles this year.
Maybe a lot of this is because I have just walked through one of the toughest years in my life (and I’m not young). I have lost two dogs, my mother, and my church family. I have had to start over in so many ways, and on so many levels. I have experienced the pain of doing a wonderful job teaching honors level students, causing a large increase in CST scores, and being given the hardest students the next year because my administration doesn’t like interacting with parents, and I caused that by challenging high level students to perform at high levels. They never even said anything about the increase in scores, yet, we are constantly being “harped” at about increasing scores.
I started teaching long ago. First with my own children, then as a nurse teaching patients how to care for themselves, and teaching other nurses how to become great nurses. When my immune system didn’t allow me to work face to face with patients anymore, I took to the phones, teaching patients by phone. I went back to school and earned my math and graduate degrees so I could once again be face to face with students.
I love teaching. I’m really good at it. I love seeing the lights come on, a realization hit and seeing someone begin to understand something that alluded them. I love the struggle, and the determination to not allow something to better someone. I even love the teenagers and their attitudes, knowing that most of it comes from their struggles within themselves, and how I can support and be a role model for them.
For the first time in my life, I am hating getting up, and going to work. I am struggling to find value in anything I am doing. I am grateful for Michael Pershon’s post this morning. It reminded me why I started this, I hope that over the next three weeks, I can find my spiritual and emotion well-being to begin it again.