Show Your Stripes!
Okay, everyone is tired. This is not anything new or special- we are all tired. Yes, teachers have it great because we get summers off, but I guarantee there would be less (happy) teachers in the world if we didn’t have summers off. We need time to recharge and get a chance to rejuvenate our love for the profession. Teaching is hard because often times you also have to parent as well as teach. It’s not like it used to be; teachers don’t have the authority that they used to have. My students, particularly in my 7th period, would tell me I’m “savage.” [NOTE: according to Urban Dictionary, savage means, “bad ass. cool. violent.” That’s a savage drink you just made, thanks bro.] I am NOT savage. I am (wait for it…) honest! Kids have a REAL hard time with people being something called “honest.” It’s a hard concept for them because they don’t like being called out for their crap. I think being honest with them is the best thing that can happen to them. Look, you just earned a 70 in Biology…I don’t think you are cut out for the medical field. This isn’t savage, this is HONESTY! If you can’t scrape up a decent grade in high school biology, then I have a hard time imagining you are going to kill it in pre-med in college. Or I would have a kid that misses school a lot, and I’d tell them their attendance is terrible. This isn’t savage, this is HONESTY! They would follow this with, “I’m going to do better in college though.” I would respond with, “Uhhh, no you won’t. If you can’t get to school when you live with 2 parents that harass you for not being here, then what makes you think you’re going to go to class in college when you’re tired from going out all night and have no adult to administer consequences?!” Not savage. Honest. Do I want to discourage them? No. Do I want them to self reflect and recognize their poor choices? Yes.
Having said all of this, I have a good relationship with my kids because they appreciate my honesty. We have the boundary of teacher and student, but they also know that they can talk to me about things outside of math. It’s a hard line to tow, but it is what makes our job so rewarding and fun. It’s an amazing experience to get to be a positive influence on a teenager’s life. I’ve had kids tell me that I am inspiration to them that I’m fighting cancer and remaining positive. Truthfully, they help me! They are awesome distractions, and while I’m looking forward to the summer I will miss my students this year. (I can’t say that every year, but this year I can absolutely say it.) So, thanks students for being my distraction while I fight this battle. I am currently on day 14 (of 14), and I’m exhausted. I came home from my short work day and took a nap…a long nap! Fatigue is a major side effect of these meds, and they have hit me hard today and will probably linger through the weekend. It’s okay though, because I had a good school year, I’m looking forward to the summer, and I’m almost done with round 3 of chemo. Life is good! I’ve got a whole summer ahead of me of more back porch rocking with my boys!