Teacher Brain

I have teacher brain.  I don’t know if all teachers develop teacher brain or just people with obsessive thought patterns, like me.  All that I think about now is teaching and my students.  My poor husband has to listen to me rattle on about their backgrounds, their behaviors, their quotes, my fears, my little victories…  When the dog wakes me up in the middle of the night, I come to from a fog of classroom dreams.  While I’m talking to friends, I find myself droning on with my teaching stories.  I called my dad back after a ten minute conversation about teaching the other night just to tell him one more story.  It consumes me.

I wonder if teacher brain ever goes away or whether you have it as long as you’re teaching.  In a way I like it, because I feel passionate about it and my brain seems to be eagerly processing the challenge of so much information coming from so many different directions.  On the other hand, I think I might drive the people in my life crazy if teaching becomes the only thing I talk about!
Since I’ve admitted that teaching is all that I’m thinking about right now, I’ll share a couple of my favorite moments from the week, (and, to be fair, I guess it’s not ALL that I think about, I have also been planning where we’re going to travel during my breaks, but maybe that is part of teacher brain too?!):
  • Yesterday my students wasted time during art by playing around when the art teacher asked them to clean up their supplies.  When I came to pick them up, they were nowhere near ready to leave, so they ended up wasting about ten minutes of my instruction time and ten minutes of the art teacher’s prep time.  When we got back to class, I had them write letters apologizing to me and the art teacher for wasting learning time by playing around.  The responses were hilarious.  My favorite letter was one where a student tried to explain to us that the Huskies, (that’s what I call them because our class university is UW), just want their freedom because this is a school where they come to learn, not play.  His use of the word freedom made me giggle.  Ironically, the letters made me like my students more because they were generally very endearing and included references to how important learning time is. ❤
  • This week one student told me in the middle of solving a math problem on his white board, “I LOVE THIS SCHOOL!”  (Same student that was trying to explain in his letter that the Huskies just want their freedom…)  I asked him why he loved it and he responded, “I just love it,” while smiling down at his math problem.  I asked him if it’s because he’s good at math and he gave me the biggest smile/nod combo.  Adorable.
  • At afternoon recess, a group of girls called me over away from the other students to show me a cheer they had made up, (or partially stolen from some book about witches turning themselves into eternal youths).  It was pretty hilarious/cute at the same time.  They were so nervous to show me but so proud of themselves when it was over.
  • Last, but not least, our school is participating in an event put on by the 20/30 club where students in need get to go on a mini shopping spree for back-to-school clothes, (thanks to an amazing teacher on my team!).  Five of my students were selected and when I handed out the notices I felt like it was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the golden tickets.  I made sure to do it discretely, but in my quiet little conversations with the students that received the spots, I felt like I was handing them winning lotto tickets.  They were so excited!  I could feel some of the financial stress that they already carry at such a young age melt away.  I’ll admit, it made me a little teary.  

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