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Today was one of those teaching days. You going in all prepared and ready for your kids. It's Monday. You have the worksheets printed (or in my case a folder labelled "TO PRINT") you have your lessons planned. Your work ID left on the cupboard at home but you You have your coffee mug ready and raring to go.
And then kids happen...
Lids have an uncanny way of grounding teachers when they feel top of the world. It's that uh huh, I'm juuuust going to make you question yourself, your ability as a teacher and sometimes your general sense of purpose and sanity.
My day as it unfolds: Kids arrive.
I've managed to squeeze in filling my coffee mug before they walk in.
Plan for the day: check.
Monday teacher enthusiasm: check.
Kids enthusiasm: debatable.
We get through the morning tasks and some reading (victory!).
We head to assembly. Kids are quiet and well presented and it's even commented on at how well their year has done. I'm winning as a teacher. Monday I am owning you!
Math hits. Slight wobble... number patterns are hard, especially on a Monday. Is it the 1000 column? The 100 column? Is it going up or going down? Is it more than? Less than? But we get through with a sigh of relief and it's break time.
I guess I should have read the signs.. storm in the horizons... waves in my tea cup... the doo doo slowly creeping up the wall, making its way towards the fan...
My enthusiasm level is at about a 7. I'm still shaky and can't breathe out my left nostril.
Geography. Now at the best of times, I dislike geography. All those maps, coordinates, names and places... who even needs atlases anyway, when you have Satnav? Lunchtime arrives, a welcome break from 30 children that don't belong to you but may as well because you see them so much... and then the final push of the day arrives and chaos hits.
The children have reverted back to year 1. Nothing's going in. You present the literacy. You read it to them, you explain it to them, you draw it on the board. You feel like you've taken out your left lung and shown them what they need to do on it and still nothing.
You are left out of breath, frustrated, exhausted and at a loss of where to go or what to do. The blank stares burn into the back of your head as you imagine yourself banging it against the whiteboard over and over again.
It's Monday, it's just one of those days. The kids pack up for the day, cheering and happily lining up to go home, oblivious to how near a breakdown you were. With a "Bye Miss," they are out the door and back to their parents. You are near foetal position on the floor of your classroom.
Don't let it get you. Uncurl from that foetal position and look forward. Your day may have unraveled into a blank abyss of vacant looks but you push through. You re-evaluate, reassess and replay the lessons. You adjust and you try again.
That's the life of a teacher. You may feel like a failure, but kids have a special way of showing us what true resilience is. They remind us how to dust ourselves off. Those faces when they do click finally, are the reason why we do what we do. The excitement and pride in themselves is enough. We make a difference and we honestly do have one of the most rewarding jobs even if there are days we don't feel like it.