After two years of teaching under the reign of the Culture of Terror, you would think that the good days at my new place of employment would get etched into my overactive mind. Even more, I can honestly say that I’ve only had one bad day working there thus far. It had nothing to do with bad behavior from my children – it was a direct result of a physician faux pas which had left me 5 days and counting of no medication to help with my racing thoughts and forgetfulness. Five days off feels like a panic attack sneaking up on you and I was so frazzled that I truly believe my soft smushy brain might have been playing rugby with my skull.
Then it hit me… This is how I used to feel all the time.
Prior to being medicated for all this loveliness, I was unaware of what normal…wait, I’m not normal even now…I was unaware of what it was like to focus fully, concentrate, finish my work in a timely fashion, to remember things that needed remembering. This five days off made me realize the stark difference between now and then.
I am embarrassed to remember that bad day but I do, so I’ll share. I only remember bits and pieces so cut me some slack -its Friday (which I call Friday Night Teacher Sleepy Time) and that day was pretty all over the place. Imagine a squirrel stuck in a burlap sack, and if you don’t know what that is (because you weren’t raised in the beautiful south like me) then think of another bag of some sort.
What I easily remember is walking into first period, where I teach math with an intelligent, determined, and on-top-of-all-her-shit type of girl, to realize that I was clueless. Clueless as in I had forgotten to look through our lesson plan for the day. I’d forgotten to perform my normal routine of working through the classwork so I can perform whatever magic I use to mold the minds of these small children. I had no idea what I needed to teach.
This is really embarrassing for many reasons…
- I hate when others are unprepared.
- I am a control freak.
- It’s just unacceptable as a teacher.
Thank god for competent co-teachers who always have your back, especially when you show up off your game. Thank the gods also because you can always count on students to either say something memorable and sweet OR something memorable and heinous. I’ve been graced with angels so far (I’m sure there are some little antics they’ve yet to pull). I’ve heard the following in the past three weeks:
“Mrs. Taylor, YOU….ARE….A….GOD!” Obviously, someone is stuck on Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief from Math Class.
“WHAAAAT? YES! MY FAVORITE TEACHER FOR FIRST PERIOD!” -a kiddo after learning that today was a B-afternoon schedule day.
“I don’t want to go to my next class, can’t I just stay with you?”
“Mom, can you just come back here and teach?” -a favorite from last years school
The best compliment of all came from my homeroom… It wasn’t words, persay, it’s the fact that they begged and pleaded for me to order them t-shirts. As soon as I get one, I’ll post a pic on here. It’s epic.
I digress… Let me just leave with this…I have bad days and I have good days. I have days where I panic off and on, worry a lot, feel down, but it’s been those kids (and my kids from the last two years) put a smile on my face and remind me to just keep pushing forward. I owe them so much.