I’ve been teaching for 22 years. I know, I know, I look like I’m twelve, but I’m not kidding.
During those years I’ve had the pleasure to work with many amazing teachers, on many different teams- many of them were incredible in their own ways. And while I’ve admired them all, I can’t say that they were each easy to work with. I’m sure this is true of all professions, and it reminds me that we all have our challenges. It’s how we meet these challenges that can make the difference between loving your job and simply doing your job.
I've been in kindergarten for about 9 years, and can honestly say that I have loved the members of my team each of those nine years. We’ve had a change or two, and I am totally in awe of the k-teachers I work with right now. One of them you might know, we call her Ms. Perky.
We were thrilled that our numbers allowed our principal to keep her on the team, and she inspires us every single day. Sure, we’d love to hate her cause she A-DOR-able, vivacious, skinny, energetic, brilliant and to DIE for, but we don’t. Dang it – we love her in spite of all that.
On the first day of school in our building the kindergarten students don’t come until 11:00, and they bring along their parents for an hour long “orientation.” Their REAL first day is the next day. This allows a “soft landing” if you will, and as a bonus we get to help our previous “clients” find their to their new classrooms down the long primary hallway.
We were all were stationed at the front of the building, along with a bazillion other people, in order to ensure that all little folks made it to where they needed to go.
Ms. Perky and I kept bumping into each other as we crisscrossed the primary hallway, holding the hands of our darlings from last year. At the end of a hectic twenty minutes, we found ourselves at the very end of the hallway as the last of the students entered their rooms. We smiled at each other, clasped hands and made our way to the front of the building.
“You know, vodka, I don’t like this,” she said softly. “My heart is breaking watching them go into another teacher’s classroom. I miss them!” And I knew she was speaking from her heart.
I smiled and nodded knowingly.
“But you know what?” I said. “In about an hour you’ll have 18 new children in your room who will help that broken heart of yours heal quite nicely. Now, buckle up. We’re about to start this roller coaster ALL over again."
(And today? She's so tired she doesn't even remember their NAMES! Yep. I'm afraid she might have won the lottery this year. And you know what I mean.)