Monday, March 5, 2012

Do What You Love...

There's a lot of negative talk in teacher land in my neck of the woods these days.  A lot of anger.  Resentment.  And most horrifying for a group of people who, in my opinion, should be striving to inspire goodness, hardwork and integrity to the wee ones (ha - I've got four 7th graders in my classes this year who are well above 6' with full beards) who grace our classrooms every single day and who look to us for guidance - with all of this responsibility on our shoulders, there is an alarmingly high number of teachers who are willing to let their duties suffer in the name of nameless politics and circumstance.  Sending a message to the higher-ups is the American way, after all.  But what of it when the only people it hurts are the people we are supposed to be supporting?  The kids we're supposed to be helping?

Do I wish educators were more highly regarded?  Absolutely.  Do I wish I was making half of what my supervisors make and do I wish I wasn't in the 3rd year of a 6 year pay freeze?  Heck yea.  

*  I believe that I took this gig - I sought this gig - because it was inwardly satisfying.  And it was the right reason for me.
*  I believe I have the opportunity, every single day, to learn and grow and change and challenge myself.  And that is a gift.
*  I believe that teaching is an art.  And because of that it is sometimes unbearably difficult.
*  I believe you never know what itty-bitty moment of your day is going to change someone else's for the better.  And that's worth going back for.
*  I believe that watching and sharing with a group of unruly and sometimes truly annoying 7th graders as they cheer and laugh and celebrate because they've just completed massive projects (and did them well) is a feeling that beats every sports victory ever witnessed.  And that analogy came from the most annoying kid of the bunch. (truth!!)
*  I believe that I am lucky to be employed doing something that I truly love.  Working for the weekend seems like an awfully skewed balance in the effort-to-payoff ratio.  And I am grateful that I found something that inspires me and creates fulfillment in my life every. single. day.

I know I don't get paid 'fairly' according to the work I do or the hours I put in or for the results and growth I see as a result.  But I do believe that there are days I should be paying them for allowing me to come in, learn, create, inspire, and have fun.

It's all about perspective.  You see, I'm one of the lucky ones...  
I do what I love.  And damnit, I love what I do.  

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