Love is Peach-Os and Post Its: The Honest Account of My 179 School Days 

I started the school year alone, in a grade I hated, at a school with problems. It was my only option. No other school wanted me and I was thrown in a week before the kids arrived. 

At the end of my first day I cried from the moment I sat down in my car until I fell asleep. I could hear my parents wondering downstairs if I would even go in the next day. That went on every day for a week. My parents, who never let me quit a thing in my life, told me they would support my decision to quit. After that first week, I cut it down to every other day for the next month; then about once a week. By fall break, I had managed to make most of myself numb to it all. 

I knew I couldn’t leave. Mrs. K. had put too much on the line for me to just up and leave. I owed it to a group of kids whos’ families up and leave whenever they choose, to stay put. I made it through countless days telling myself I only had to do it for a year. I could do 180 days (179 of you remember my one sick day). I even applied for another job… I spent almost the whole year wanting to be somewhere else. I spent the whole year squatting in a room that didn’t feel like it was really mine. I didn’t move the furniture much. I barely moved the desks. 

Most people would, at this point, mention how they wish they hadn’t spent a year moping. I don’t regret it. I really, actually don’t. 

The numb started going away little by little. It was gradual and I didn’t notice it. I did notice the little bits of kindness that the others teachers showed me day after day. I couldn’t possibly have been fun to be around during that time but everyone kept me feeling like I belonged. 

Week days ending in Mexican food, Fridays laughing with so many good people, after hours laps around the school, watching sports, and holding babies… I ended up falling in love with my job, with my school, with the ridiculous weirdos I work with. 

Today was my first last day. Yesterday, I fell apart. The people around me stood up. They did what amazing people do and I did show up for work today. I spent the day being loved by my kiddos and thanking my amazing role models. 

Two or three of my students smiled ear to ear over their goofy award I gave them. I talked to them about making good choices and being ready for fifth grade. One student I fought with, scolded, took recess from, took to the office, who flipped me off approximately 9,000 times throughout the year, cried when I talked to them. The day ended with me tearing up holding some perfect gifts and being surrounded by my perfect friends. 

I know now that as teachers, we get into teaching for the kids but we stay because of the teachers. 

Your first year in the job, you learn something new every day. Every day this year, I learned that nothing is more important than the good people who smother you with love even when you know you are being hard to love. 

Love is post-its. Love is peach-os. It doesn’t let you fall without being there to help you back up. It’s there when you need it most and it’s still there when you think you can do it alone. Love is what makes us happy. 

I know I’m not going to love every day of this job. I’m just not. I won’t say it’s my dream job because it’s not. I will say, I found my dream team. The perfect group of crazies, weirdos, nerds, and wackos make it worth the shouting, office visits, flip offs, lies, tattling, and throwing things. 

If you can find your dream team, do. Stay with it. It’s worth it. 179 days have gone by since the first time I thought about quitting. I’ve wanted to almost every day since, sometimes multiple times a day. I’ve realized that the kids are why I do this, the teachers are the reason I stay. 

Advertisements

Visiting Mrs. K.

While not an unusual event, I visited Mrs. K. yesterday. I wanted to get into the Thanksgiving spirit and thank her for being so awesome and always taking the time to help me out. We talked and on the way out the door I thanked her. I truly would not be in the place I am in doing the things that I love and managing to do them with some level of skill if it were not for her. She prepared me better than anything else for the life I have chosen to live as a teacher. I owe her a lot. 

One of the things she is very best at is saying exactly what I need to hear at the exact moment I need to hear it. I wish this were something that came naturally to me. She replied to my thanks by saying that I could have done it without her. I have made it 70ish days all on my own. 

Coming from someone so good at what she does, any compliment makes me feel a whole lot better. I am very, very lucky to have someone like her on my side. 

“Of Course, listening to you works!”

After my conversations yesterday with Mrs. K., I did what I always do after she gives me advice and tried it. And of course, listening to her worked. She suggested that I try to pick out the students who were doing the right thing because I will be less frustrated with them. I gave out several positive reward cards for random things throughout the day. 

Mrs. K. was right. The students started to pay attention to who was getting rewards and why. I read from the history book and gave out candy for knowing where we were on the page and for answering the comprehension questions that went along with the reading. Most of them payed attention. Things were better. 

After school, I sat down at each student’s desk and wrote them a positive note on a sticky note. They love sticky notes and I find the on my desk all the time with nice notes to me. Honestly, even if every one of my students looks at it and throws it out and never thinks about it again, I am still glad I did it. It made me realize that there is actually something I like about every student. 

Once again, Mrs. K. managed to say the exact right thing to make me think and change the way I do things for the better. I texted her after school and told her how right she was. I definitely feel better about the whole thing. I know it is probably a false sense of security but I am going to ignore that and sleep well tonight! 

Making Friends

After a rough week where one thing after another tried to break me down, I can say I am crushing it in fourth grade. I know it sounds a bit conceited but after the week I went through I think I have a right to be a little proud of myself.

I cannot go into detail about all of the nonsense because a lot of it is quite serious and I don’t feel right to share it with the world. Just know that things are happening in my room that I feel very upset about. It was a tricky week. I tread lightly but also had to come down hard on many things. I am so thankful for all of the people around me who have been so thoughtful and have checked up on me and made sure everything was alright.

My intermediate mentor invited me out with her and a few other teachers and I have to say it was exactly what I needed. I feel like I am finally fitting in and making friends (as cheesy as that sounds). It is really nice to belong and to know so many people want to make sure I doing alright. Things are going well in terms of my own progress. Things are what they are in terms of student behavior that is out of my control. My student teaching mentor and I talked for a long while this afternoon because apparently her last few weeks have been about as wild as mine.

She is so great and can always make me laugh! I feel very lucky to be able to take on this new adventure with so many fantastic people supporting me. I will definitely have to make them all muffins really soon!