Tuesday, April 7, 2015

At First, But Now

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I hope you all enjoyed a very family- and friend-filled Easter weekend. It was gloomy and overcast here both Sunday and yesterday, but the sun is trying to make its return today. Trying. Anyway, who stayed up far past their bedtime to watch the NCAA Championship last night? You know this girl did! Remember when I showed you guys my March Madness bracket? And I told you that, for whatever reason, I absolutely love Duke basketball, and every year I pick them to win the whole shebang. Because you can never count out Duke. And every once in a while, they humor me and actually win the whole shebang. (Sidenote: I'm headed to Vegas.) Prior to last year, the last time we saw Duke win a national championship was 2010, in Indianapolis. And where was this year's national championship game played? Indianapolis. Next time the Final Four takes place in Indy, I'm willing to bet that we'll see quite the increase in the number of people who pick Duke to win it all. Logos. Statistics. I'm just saying.

Moving on. Though the game didn't start until close to 8:30pm Houston time (and that meant 9:30pm on the East Coast!!), I vowed to stay up and watch the entire game. And I started to lose faith when we were down by nine, and couldn't make a basket to save our lives. But Duke chipped away at the score, slowly but surely, certainly under the direction of the ever-so calm and cool Coach K. They were clutch when it counted, and though I genuinely liked Wisconsin's team and coach, I was thrilled to watch the Blue Devils bring another victory home to Durham, North Carolina. And who called it from the very beginning? This girl. This game simply reiterated that age-old advice to always go with your gut. Because eventually it will pay off. Even if the rest of your bracket is completely busted. So maybe I'll stay away from Vegas.

At First, But Now

At the crawfish this boil this weekend, there were many friends and parents that I hadn't seen in a while.  Therefore, I became a pro at answering the following question: "How's teaching going?"

I could have given the long, drawn out, detailed answer, but to keep it short and sweet, here's the answer I gave to those who asked. I told them, "At first I didn't like it very much. It was new and it was overwhelming and I truly thought this wasn't the job for me. But now, I love it. I've gotten into my groove, I love Bellaire, and my students certainly keep me on my toes. I couldn't imagine doing anything else." At this point, I would usually launch into a story about one of them, proving that, yes, my students are both sweet and sassy.

And I've said it before, and I'll likely say it again. Teaching is hard. I was pretty miserable at first. I was up early and home late and always working and I felt lost and overwhelmed and in over my head and a little bit alone - surprising, in such a big school - but after a couple of months, I stopped hoping for traffic on the Westpark Tollway. I looked forward to pulling into that too-small parking lot, and I didn't absolutely dread some of my classes. Okay, that's a lie. I still dread my 7th period, but that one speaks for itself. I took the help that was offered me. I got to know my co-workers. I separated work from my personal life. I embraced the fact that some of these teachers are old enough (sorry) to be my parents. And in some cases, my grandparents. Seriously. That I'm constantly busy, and that there's always something to be done. That my students sometimes frustrate me to no end, but that the stories they sit down and tell me often make me want to give them all a big hug. That they want to be noticed and appreciated and shown love and attention. That they want to be heard, and to feel like more than a number in a school of close to 4,000. That, granted, maybe not all of them want to learn and discover the absolute joy of getting lost in a book, but they at least want to feel as though they aren't completely wasting their time. I've been told that I'm "too nice" and "too patient," and though I never realized those were negative qualities, maybe it's just that I think the kids should know they matter.

And maybe instead of counting down the days until summer, I should count down the days until I miss my students. Because I will miss (most of) them. Heck, I spend more time with them than I do my friends! As sad a realization as that is? Crazy how one little question can make you realize that much. At first, but now.

And on that note, I'm off to get in a swim. 80 degree temps means the pool is just calling my name!

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