That’s the first title that popped into my head and I deem it completely appropriate. It is February and I am tired. Very tired. No one told me that being a full-time teacher would be this exhausting and this draining. I’ve even had three snow days since Winter Break, but am still completely dead every time I come home from work. At one of our district’s new teacher orientation meetings we were shown this graph:
I can guarantee I have long surpassed anticipation and survival, but I am currently stuck in disillusionment with no end in sight. Lucky for me, I know that I am not alone in this.
A few weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to attend our state’s National Association for Music Education Professional Development Conference. I attended this conference all four years of college and was very excited when my school allowed me to attend it this year. It was also in my city (for the first time in many years), so one of my college friends stayed at my house for the weekend. She also shares my feelings of just being constantly exhausted. We both expected the “rejuvenation” phase to come after Christmas break, but were not so lucky.
I know that you didn’t click this blog post to listen to me whine about my job, but then again-what were you wanting to hear? Unfortunately, this is the serious reality of my life. A reality that my boyfriend gets to deal with every evening when I am sometimes too tired to even eat dinner.
On the bright side. I love my job. I love teaching music. I love watching the joy on student’s faces when they finish a new piece. I love how excited they get to play games. I love the really weird things they say, for example: I have a water bottle that has a time chart on it so that I remember to drink water throughout the day and one of my students asked what it was, so I told them it’s so I remember to drink water. One of my sixth graders responds (in the most sincere and serious voice) “Miss Hillard, you got a problem with yo’ bowels? Like how old people need prune juice. Is that you?” Seriously. This happened and I had to actually dignify a response for it and, as a matter of fact, I do not have a problem with my bowels.
Kids are really funny and really open if you take the time to listen and talk to them. Last week a student casually mentioned Donald Trump’s immigration ideas (loudly, as that is their only volume) before class started, so we spent fifteen minutes discussing the implications of Trump’s ideas. One of the students in that class is actually an immigrant from Mexico, which none of us knew, so it was a way for them to relate something they’ve seen on social media to a real-life person they know. It was also a way for me to better understand one of my students. I knew she was an English as a Second Language student, but they don’t exactly give us a background of each child’s previous living arrangements and I would never blatantly ask a child what country they were born in.
No, this wasn’t a music lesson. Sure, I probably could’ve found some twisted way to turn it into a music lesson, but I didn’t. I think that sometimes the discussions we have that aren’t even slightly related to our pieces are the most important things that happen in our classroom.
In summation of this blog post: It is February and I am very tired, but I also love my job and know how truly blessed I am to spend every day with such wonderfully interesting children.