Last week I wrote a post about remembering why. That was mostly about remembering why I had moved across continents for my new adventure. Today, I’m remembering why I chose to be a teacher.
If you read the last post, you’ll know that I have been ill. I had to take time off work, which is a thing I truly hate to do. If you’re a teacher you’ll understand what I mean when I say it is more stressful to be off than to be at work. You know how it goes: you spend far too much time planning the perfect, easy, achievable day for your supply (or substitute) teacher, then you spend the whole day you’re not there worrying about the kids and wondering if little Adam remembered to go to his new table at lunch and whether the person playing you at the front of the class that day actually read the file you asked them to read so that they know about Amy’s nut allergy. Then, you go back to work to find that none of the things on the carefully detailed and specific plan actually got done, what did get done is …um…less than good…and is unmarked. You then spend your first day back playing catch up.
See: it really is less stressful to just go to work, however ill you are.
But there are times when ill is too ill. Last week was one of those times for me. I only had two days off (truthfully, I should probably have more, what with having shingles and all). On my first day back at school, this is what I was greeted with. I may have cried but don’t judge me – it’s the shingles pain, honest.
To give you some context, my kids have a ‘Journal’ (you can find out more about it in a new post coming soon) where each day, before they go home, they write a note to me. That note can be about anything they want (within reason!): the lesson they enjoyed the most, the new thing they learned, the concept they want to practice more, or just something they will remember. For those of my kids who struggle with writing, and ask daily ‘I don’t know what to write. What should I write?’ I always tell them ‘Tell me the best part of your day’. Sometimes, that best part is recess. But on my first day back, after reading several notes saying ‘I missed you’, it was this one that got me. This, from a kid who always needs that ‘Tell me your best part’ reminder. The writing may not be the neatest, the grammar may not be on point just yet, but this helps me to remember why I teach.