I’ll admit it: I have recently been regretting taking on a summer school position.
Don’t get me wrong: the pay is decent (I think?), the kids are generally well-behaved, I have a lot of leeway in what I do with students (hence: social justice Fridays). Still, I think that both myself and the program lead seemed to ignore the fact that at the end of the day, you still have 20+ pairs of eyes looking at you asking “What’s Next?” Sure, there’s no grading involved, and there is (or should theoretically be) a lot less pressure, but still the 20+ minds in the room are there to be taught, dammit, so I better come up with something good, ya know?
Now, I normally love that about teaching. It’s one of the reasons I came back— I need the energy and, frankly, that accountability. But it’s also really tiring and it has made me a little grumpy. <pityparty>With summer here, a lot of my friends and colleagues are (rightfully) resting, adventuring, doing other things that I want to be doing. I’d love to be on a hike or a long run at 9:45AM on a Tuesday. Sadly, I am normally telling my kids to work on their articles for the newsletter at that time.</pityparty>
OK, I got that out of my system, which is good. I still get summer (technically) off, and I will still get to do lots of those things, so it’s not all bad.
Plus, I seem to forget that I really like kids when I let myself. Even when I snap at them or get frustrated, they do things like this:
And that was after I got snippy with her. Even when I don’t want to do it, the kids are out there, having fun and being great and having fun.
At the end of the day, this is one of their greatest gifts, and one of the things I truly love about teaching: kids force you to seek joy, live in laughter, and see hope in everything, because that’s how they see the world. Even kids in dire circumstances are often the ones who ask the toughest questions and because of that, dream the biggest dreams. The biggest mistake I could make as a teacher would be to try and squash that sense of wonder, delight, and enjoyment of the world.
So, I vow to join them. I have about 10 days left with them. I am desperately seeking fun, the bright side, and joy.