There is the day that takes place from 8:20am until 3:00pm. That day brings me a lot of joy. Today it looked like this: It was our 100th Day of School, so we began the morning by making a huge deal out of Calendar Math, presenting our 100th Day of School projects, and making crowns that read, “I am 100 Days Smarter”. We built towers out of 100 cups and participated in a 100th Day Olympics. We read the story Pigs in Hiding, and when my students came back from resource they had to search the classroom for 100 pigs. We got so into our special centers in the afternoon that we completely lost track of time until D said, “Ms…that was the END of the day bell” and we hurried out the door.
And then there is the day that lasts from 3:20pm until whenever I decide to call it quits for the evening, because the to do list never actually ends…it just ebbs and flows. That part of the day consisted of two no call/no show parent conferences. Six voicemails that are currently unreturned. A third version of the same email to a staff member. A discouraging encounter with an administrator. And essentially being told that unless I document it sixteen ways til Sunday, there is no evidence that I’ve taught anything today, this week, this year. And as I sit in my room staring at this pile of paperwork (not lesson plans or grading mind you, just paperwork) my frustration level is rising almost as high as this stack of papers.
I like teaching. I love my students. I’m over TFA and school related drama. I’m tired of well-intentioned people telling me to “just focus on the kids”, because the other stuff doesn’t just sort itself out like they say it will. Maybe I’m just thrown off balance because I didn’t want to be the only one in first grade to miss the Super Bowl, so I stayed up past my self-imposed Sunday night bedtime. Or maybe I’m just tired of feeling like I’ve put in two full days of work for every day, and it’s still not enough.