Teaching: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly!

I taught for ten years before I resigned. Ten years full of stress, frustration, anxiety, lots and lots of anxiety, anger, hurt, and the list goes on and on. But, there was also laughs, sweet smiles, happiness, friendships, and lots and lots of love. Teaching is hard. EXTREMELY hard. But, it's also really really good. 

Side note- I didn't resign solely because I wasn't happy with teaching. I had a another baby last June and I am incredibly lucky to have this little #sidehustle that has allowed me to take an extended maternity leave. 

I remember back in college thinking that I would love every single student I taught. WRONG. I also remember thinking that teaching was going to be absolutely amazing and come easy to me because it's what I always wanted to do. WRONG. I made so many assumptions about this profession that turned out to be the complete opposite. I had students that I didn't really connect with and it didn't take very long at all to realize that teaching was in no way easy

There were years, not just days, but entire years that were extremely difficult. The year I got moved to a new school a month after school had started. The students in my new class were the students that had registered last, so there wasn't much information known about them. Needless to say, I had an extremely low class that needed a lot of support, and a class that had LOTS of behavior challenges. I also felt like I had barely any support because I didn't know anyone and had no friends at school.  I was also pregnant. I was literally counting down the days minutes until my baby was born and I could go on maternity leave. My class that year was so challenging, my first supply teacher barely lasted two weeks. It was that kind of year. But that horrible year made me a lot stronger, as a teacher and as a person. To this day, I always try my best to show kindness to the teachers that get moved to different schools and don't know a soul. A little kindness goes a long way! 

Looking back, I've probably always had anxiety. But, I didn't really realize it until a few years into my teaching career and I started having panic attacks that made me physically sick. I'll never forget one morning not feeling well, but feeling so anxious about trying to find a sub that morning and missing school. I literally had a panic attack driving my son to daycare because I was determined to make it to school. Then there was the time that my vision started going crazy and my arm started going numb while administering a standardized test to my first graders. That was the day I knew I needed to make a doctor's appointment. I wish I hadn't waited so long to get help! 

But, then there was the year that my personal life was suffering and it's my classroom that got me through. I will always remember one year in particular that my home life was a real struggle and I honestly enjoyed being in my classroom more than being in my home. My classroom was my safe place and my students provided so many smiles. I will always hold a special place in my heart for those kids because they got me through a really hard time in my life, and they don't even realize it! 

Through my ten years teaching, I taught at three different schools-not by choice. I got moved around a lot at the beginning of my career. I never really understood why in the moment, but looking back I was put exactly where I needed to be each time. The last school I taught at, I stayed for six years. I met one of my very best friends and was able to co-teach with her for three years in a multi-age class. I am so thankful that I was able to be at the school and form the relationships and friendships that I did! 

As teachers, we have so many different moments that make us stronger, wiser, and maybe feel crazy for ever entering this profession! We could all literally write a book about our experiences and our memories. The things kids say- like telling us that their mom takes medicine everyday so she doesn't have another baby! The way they make us feel with the light bulb moments, sweet pictures they draw for us, or the hugs in the morning! Our books would be full of SO much! 

Teaching isn't easy. And, to be honest it's probably getting harder and harder every single year. But, there's just something about it that only a teacher will understand. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Something that pulls us out of bed every morning and makes us go to work. It's obviously not for the amazing paychecks! 

So even though I'm not in the classroom this year, I know I'll be back. There's just something about working with kids that brings joy to my soul. There's a passion inside me, and so many of us that is unlike anything else. Through the good years, and the bad years, you are absolutely AMAZING! My wish for you is that you have many more good years than bad, that you build strong relationships with your students, find some of your very best friends in the classrooms beside you, and your heart is filled with love!

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