Friday, January 25, 2008

Another Small Moment

I was reading my cousin Jill's blog, and I found a post that got me thinking.

She was lamenting being a young mom with two kids, little sleep, and a wish to somehow complete "more" things without having her two-year-old immediately undo them. I love Jill, and I think she is fabulous, on the ball, and--perhaps most importantly--an incredible family member. And I thought if Jill can remind herself that "this is but a small moment" then I should probably take her advice. So here's the thing:

My job is driving me crazy.

I've never felt so exasperated, unorganized, and clueless. I know what you're thinking. They're just 7-year-olds! Yes, true. But there are 25 of them and only one of me. On top of that, they collectively hand in an average of 150 papers a day. They look to me for support in a near constant way. After all, I am the "primary authority figure" for SEVEN hours of their day. If they get 8 hours of sleep at night, that means they spend nearly 1/3 of their time with me. Therefore, it is little wonder that they want to tell me about every minor injury, piece of news, and dramatic realization. And really, I am happy to share that with them. But there are many afternoons when I leave school feeling like if I have to ask ONE MORE KID to be QUIET then I may very well walk out the door and never come back.

This spring the school is going to send home parent surveys. All the parents will rank the school, the principal, the administrative staff, and, of course, me! Then the school board sorts through the surveys, categorizes and quantifies our faults, and sends us into a meeting with the administration to exact a pound of flesh.

From what I've heard, it's not a pretty thing.

But you know what the kicker is? I already know what the parents are going to say! I know what my faults are! But I also know that I am legitimately trying.

So amidst all of this crazy, numbing chaos I was glad to read Jill's words. "This is but a small moment." Things that are hard or that hurt--even things that hurt you all the way down to that hole you keep behind your sternum--have a way of seeming smaller over time.

I assume that's the way this year will turn out. Exhausting and frustrating, but in the end just another "small moment."

If that is the case, I better figure out a way to enjoy this. I better figure out a way to stop feeling so frustrated. Because I hate looking back at those ugly patches in my life when I was not the person I thought I ought to be. An entire year of teaching would be a big ugly patch.

Kelly used to say, "Just do what you can do." Maybe that's the ticket. That and remembering that this really is a just a small moment, and someday it will be off in the distance, and I will be able to smile and roll my eyes.


Katrina said...

i want to try and sympathize. i am doing my elem ed practicum this semester with 1st graders up here in cache valley. i understand their attachment to the teacher. however, since i'm just a visitor who is only there 3 days of the week, its not quite the same. i'm impressed with your positive out look. i'm sure it'll all be just fine star. and remember, the family is always here.

Sunshine said...

It will be summer before you know it! I'm sorry school is so hard. We are potty-training down here...I think I'd rather be grading 150 papers a day right now. Love you!

Mike & Judy said...

I think the eye rolling part should be very effective NOW. When those surveys come in you can roll those eyes and think of all the faults those parents must have since their children certainly aren't perfect!
If you want a great laugh read Brian and Kayla's blog - It will help you with perspective.

Megan and Kenny said...

Well you made it through that horrible year and now you are probably a much better teacher because of it. Yea for Star and her wonderful painful growing experiences.