Finally, I made the transition to the field of education and since August, I have been trying to get my bearings and find some sort of routine for my life. Nothing has worked. My life is more chaotic now than ever. In the past, I would have been a balled up, crying disaster. But I love the crazy that being a teach has brought into my life.
At least once a week, someone asks me why I made the change in my career. And at least once a week, I ask myself if I made the right decision. But I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that teaching is what I am supposed to do.
My kids are smart and cunning and quick-witted and charming. They constantly work to outsmart me or distract me or convince me to do something fun instead of reading. I am learning so much from them and they push me to want to learn more outside of the classroom so I have more to share with them.
I often struggle to keep up with the demands of being a teacher and I don't feel nearly smart enough sometimes. But most days, all I need is a good story in my back pocket, an open mind and a willing heart to get me through. Don't get me wrong! Teaching is by far the most difficult job I have EVER had. There wasn't one day in advertising that could compare with the pressure to perform or the level of stress that oppresses you as a teacher or the worry you carry day in and day out for your students. But those three things... the story, the open mind and the willing heart... I think those three things are the secret to getting through the week.
For those most part, I am able to find some satisfaction in every day. Sometimes I have to seek it out or look REALLY hard to see it but it's there. It's in the smile of a kid that has barely looked at you in eight weeks. It's in the "I love you Ms. Rausch!" yelled down the hall by a kid who makes you crazy in class. It's in the 100% you get to write at the top of a student's paper. It's in the thank yous and the laughter and the hugs. It's in the head that rests on your shoulder as a student stands beside you in the hallway during the passing period. It's in the silence of the talker who seemingly never shuts up but has decided to pour herself into her paper one day. It's in the greetings you get when you see your students at the football game.
Now to find that routine and figure out how to survive on five hours of sleep! Mercy... have I made the right decision? Ask me in May.