Being Ms. B

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Nov 03 2013

In which it is November 3rd

A co-worker asked me during a professional development session on Friday why I wasn’t writing anymore.

I guess I could have told him that this was a TFA platform, and that as a (CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE IT) “alumna” of Teach For America, I no longer thought I had anything much to say.

That’s really not so true though.

The more I thought about it that day (I mean… I was paying attention during PD… I promise…) the more I realized that the reasons are somewhat complicated.

  1. As a teacher, there’s always some pressure to just hush, put your head down, and work.
  2. My life sucks a lot less than it did during my first year of teaching, and although work is still often intensely frustrating, I have other ways of dealing with it.
  3. The children haven’t done anything so hilarious and adorable that I thought it would be uplifting and humorous for the entire world to read about it.

In the past few months, I have briefly contemplating writing  a long gripe about everything that is still hard, painful, unfair, and challenging about doing what I do.  Every time I started though, I imagined either digging a hole for myself, or just sounding like a whiny baby.

So instead, I present to you 5 wonderful things about teaching, children, and November 3rd.

  1. After 3 years, my kids are actually the reason why I like my job, even when they’re at their most middle school-ish.  (Don’t get me wrong, there are days I walk in to co-workers classrooms and say, “I don’t like children today,” but that’s called being human.  And anyway, I generally like them again by 4 PM).  
  2. Sucktober is over.  Never again will I have to endure Sucktober 2013.  At many points during Sucktober, I had to remind myself, “Is October always so Suck?”  And then I remembered, yes, yes it is. And then I got to erase the word “OCTOBER” from my chalkboard and rejoice in the thirty oh so short days of November.   
  3. The kids rocked our first novel unit and super loved Holes.  They are adorable little reading nerds – DON’T TELL THEM.  We’re starting the Westing Game this week.  
  4. I finally mastered Halloween as a teacher by a) dressing up like a spelling bee (I wore bee antenna and taped spelling words to my sweater) and b) deciding that we should probably spend the 31st watching the movie version of the aforementioned novel.  The children were happy, I was happy,  we were instructionally relevant (CCSS – compare and contrast text and media) , everyone won. 
  5. I get to spend three hours a month hanging out with some of my favorite sixth and seventh grade girls after school, reading awesome books and having intelligent conversations about them.  We had the girls snowball discussion questions about our last book, and one of them actually came up with the question, “What does beauty mean to you?”  Then we handed out The Hunger Games and a hushed silence descended as the girls began to read.  When we told them that it was time to get on the after school bus and go home, there were actual groans.  
Happy November, one and all.  I can smell the turkey and the vacation already, can’t you?

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    Teaching by the arch

    St. Louis
    Middle School

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