As you read this, I am sitting in a meeting at work for the first time in a couple months. Or maybe I am helping to decorate the library walls. I might be in a meeting. Or perhaps I am listening to a speaker in the auditorium with the rest of the school district employees. Of course, I might also be in a meeting. (Yes, I know I said that three times. That’s about how often we have meetings for various things during in-service week.)
All of the area teachers, faculty, administrators, office staff, custodial staff and school nutrition workers are returning to work this week, and we are all having some mixed feelings about it.
Some are tickled pink, excited to get back to work, looking forward to setting up their classroom or work area. Some are dreading it, not quite rested enough from a summer break that never seems long enough. The majority of us, however, fall somewhere in between. But the funny thing is, no matter where we land on the scale of excitement, all of us will spend about ten minutes on campus before we start getting back into the groove of things and getting excited about the coming school year.
You see, educators are a strange breed of people. None of us make nearly enough money. We do a job that many would not dream of accepting – working with children forty hours a week. (I’m not sure what’s harder: elementary kids or teenagers!) We tackle being mom, dad, coach, cheerleader and counselor with teacher, snack provider, listening ear and test preparation team all at once. We hear about the things that go on at home, we work with those who learn differently, try to figure out what each individual kid’s best motivator is and then swap and do it all over again every fifty minutes all day long for nine months a year. We follow the guidelines set forth by people who have never stepped foot into a classroom so that we can keep our jobs and continue on year after year, because we love what we do.
We love “our” kids. Sure, there are a few kids each year that make you question leaving education for a more calm career field like lion taming or underwater electricity tester. But even with those kids, they tend to sneak their way into our hearts before May rolls around and we find ourselves thinking about them after hours and over the summer, hoping they are safe and healthy.
The majority of the students I work with are charming and sweet. Most of them really want to learn but perhaps struggle or need a little help. Seeing those lightbulbs come on as they grasp new concepts is what makes me keep going back to work at the school each fall. I love helping them learn!
This week as you go about your business, remember all the school staff members who are returning to work and beginning to prep for your child’s return to the classroom next week. We will be thinking of you and your children in between all our meetings!
(Contact Liz by email at Lizreeves2@aol.com)