it’s true. i’m a teacher now.
it’s fun saying that – even four months after i first donned a lanyard (which i now kind of loathe), created a lesson planning book, and put together a pencil skirt based outfit. the first of many, to my delight. and each day, i love my job more. well. sometimes i totally hate it and cry in the staff bathroom*, but, in general, i love it.
it’s funny though, as with any new situation, to realize stuff about life and myself.
random thoughts on being a teacher.
- there has got to be something scientific behind loving kids. i mean, it’s weird. not all of them are terribly likable. it’s true – just like adults. but with all of my tiny, little people, i have had, at the very minimum, one interaction where their lives suddenly make sense of their behavior, and my heart is forever gone. and, crazily, it’s making the meeting of less personable ones more hopeful. it’s like my brain knows something else is going on and is ok not being aware of it until the future.
- i know this sounds cliche, but i love watching tiny people learn next to me. and a million times more so when said tiny people realize it, too! pretests are a big fat pain in terms of timing, grading, and emotions (at least one kid inevitably cries about not knowing the answers), etc. but! it is so fun to pass them back with a post test and watch everyone beam with personal pride and crack up at their old selves. i love it.
- kids are hilarious. my sense of humor is wholly content with my career choice. there’s the kid who walked in one morning, pulled me aside, and nervously whispered to me that he’d found something in his pocket. he slyly palmed me something, which, when i looked at it, was a victoria’s secret gift card. another student bounded over to me during reading, noticeably excited. “miss lucken! you won’t believe it! i was reading my book, then all of a sudden i turned the page, and it was a volcano page! i was hoping there’d be a volcano page! i’m not sure, but i think i may be a wizard.” another kid pulled me aside before winter break and said, “teacher, ‘johnny’ thinks your sexy.” admittedly, i have no idea who ‘johnny’ is, nor did i know how to respond other than to nod and say “hm.” honestly, one of the hardest parts of my job is keeping a straight face.
- after years of no coworkers, i’m loving working next to other people again! nannying is a lone wolf sort of profession. teaching can also be super lonely and, at times, depressing. i wish everyone in the whole world was, at some point, thrown into a room with 31 six year olds, 31 desks + chairs, and a math curriculum that isn’t connected to the standards. my point? it’s nice being around people who get your career. validating and all that.
- i sometimes wrestle with how exactly to mesh my personality with education. i’m not always the most organized, classy, cutesy or well-rested teacher, and this is somewhat frustrating for me. sometimes i teach on the fly. i will never decorate my room with owls or cats or something. i hate putting bulletin boards together (but love doing art). i refuse to wear holiday sweatshirts (unless they’re hilarious.) i rarely arrive at work prior to 7am, and, once on the premises, my whole self has one goal: coffee. immediately. i am the kind of teacher who takes a picture of the following story written by one of her students and texts it to everyone she knows.
i’ve been known to spend a saturday night at a concert or party with a theme, such as, getting funky in your one piece. but! i am at school every day. i love my kids and my job, and i work really hard (and overtime. every week) to teach everyone important things. so, while it’s a teeter-totter sort of feeling sometimes, i’m thinking teacher rachel and real life rachel can exist in the same world. that being said, there are a lot of ways i want to be better at my job, but i hope i always laugh when a student leaves the “o” out of “counted.”
i love all the jobs the characters on friends have. it’s one of those amazing life-to-media connections that makes the show so great and relateable (is relateable not a word? …i could have sworn it was a word…). anyway, here are some of my favorite work moments:
*totally happened. my first month of being a teacher, we had a fire drill that was so horrifically terrible i actually spent part of my prep crying in the bathroom. teachers are people, too, yo. and sometimes embarrassing people.