Let me tell you how awesome it is:
1. Sure, I have more time but I don't have more money.
It's not like just because I have time off I have the ability to do all the things in my house that I always said I would do if I had more time. And, here is the thing. Now, I have to spend all day in my house. Why? Well, if I leave my house I am spending money. I don't have extra money to spend. Sure, I am saving a bit in gas but I am spending that in the extra groceries I buy during my very long grocery store trips because I just need to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. Also, I am a social person. I wanted to become a teacher because I like being creative and fun and I don't want to be quiet all day. But guess what? EVERYONE I KNOW IS WORKING. So, sure, I have some time off. But really, it's not all you might think it's cracked up to be.
2. During my summer I spent time tutoring. It was really awesome but it still meant I had a place to be and a time to be there. I also spent a LOT of time revising lesson plans, searching for new ideas, studying the new standards, reading blogs about education, attending conferences or professional development, reading young adult books, and basically "working" to get my classroom ready, my filing cabinet organized, and trying to get ahead.
3. I'm not saying I'm great with money but I don't go wild. Honestly, I make just enough. I can pay my bills and I am comfortable but it's rare that I have extra. So, even though I actually have a job where I have time to travel, and even though I LOVE to travel and have the desire to do so, and even though I work 12-14 hour days during the school year, many hours each weekend, and in the summer... I still don't have enough to go on vacation. It's depressing.
And then... all of a sudden it is gone.
If you aren't a teacher, it's hard to explain. I almost think it is detrimental for the human brain to go from the biggest stress of the day being deciding whether to choose "white" or "whole wheat" at the grocery store to the AMAZING AND INCOMPARABLE AMOUNT OF STRESS WE FACE AS TEACHERS.
***********Now, listen up, I am not complaining about my job. I LOVE teaching.******************
Sadly, a good portion of my day isn't just teaching. It's doing a whole bunch of other things that are time consuming and overwhelming and take me away from what I want to do most. What I do best. And what is that?
- Talking to kids
- Building their confidence
- Establishing procedures so that they know they are safe and how to follow directions
- Exploring their passions and encouraging them to dream
- Reading to kids, with kids, near kids, stuff written by kids
- Hearing kids
- Comforting kids
- Modeling a positive attitude and good citizenship
What I don't have time for is all the other "stuff." It fills up my brain, so really, by the time summer rolls around I need about 6 weeks to decompress and then it is time to go back. The kids make it worth it EVERY SINGLE DAY but it's hard. It's stressful.
And it is so, so, so important.
I am proud of what I do and, to me, that is an important thing to be able to say. But right now, I've passed 60 and I'm trying to stay in control at 100. I might miss some days on my blog, I might not return your call right away, and I might have to cancel last minute. But only because my job isn't working with products, it's working with people. Little people. And they are worth it. It may seem corny and it may sound cheesy, but seriously: