And Sometimes It’s Beyond Worth it.

Often, teaching is like any other job. Long hours, unsatisfied customers, little recognition. Some days I daydream about a world where I do not have to squish myself into a mold in order to succeed.

Then, days come around like today, where everything makes sense.

With no prep scheduled and only the second day of instruction, I knew I was in for a long haul. Add to that my body’s stubborn insistence on waking up 40 minutes before my alarm and, well, I had to force myself to think about gratitude for the human experience as I got ready this morning.

About ten minutes before school started, the door to my classroom swung open and in marched half a dozen of my most challenging boys from last year with huge smiles on their faces. The ring leader, also my most difficult, looked proud of himself for assembling such a reception.

Instead of “I hate this school,” or the alternative favorite, “I hate you,” they were excited to tell me about middle school, pleased about how handsome they looked in their sixth-grade button-down shirts. It turns out, kids really do love you, even when they kick and scream and do anything to push your buttons.

The most rewarding part of starting a new year has been seeing all those faces from my old class. I had to fight back tears as they appeared at the most unexpected moments both today and yesterday, smiling through my window, craning their necks to peer into my new world, their old classroom home. The hugs, the stories, the yells across the courtyard make it all worth it.

And, I’m happy to report, my new batch is pretty darn lovable too. I think I’m just one of those teachers who loves the heck out of my kids. I thought it would feel different with new names and stories, but instead it just feels like the beginning of another heart-stealing adventure.

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13 thoughts on “And Sometimes It’s Beyond Worth it.

  1. They do that don’t they, steal our hearts. I go back in the beginning of September, and as much as i am enjoying my summer, I can’t wait to fall in love again with them. Have a great school day. Oh, by the way, I am enjoying the book, The Places that Scare You, but sometimes I need to take a rest from it, sometimes the heavy readings scare me, 🙂

    • olivia says:

      Yes– they definitely steal our hearts. Glad you’re looking forward to going back, I had a hard time giving up my break, but I tried not to think about it too much!

      Also, I’m on the same page with the book. I can only do small quantities, but I think it offers a very interesting perspective in approaching the unavoidable spaces of discomfort in life!

  2. I wish I’d had a few more loving teachers like you in school…what a different world we would have!

  3. kingmidget says:

    Once again you write something that makes me look at my career choice and wish I had made a different choice. I have no doubt that there are difficulties behind you and hardships ahead in your teaching career — but there is something so basic and fundamental about being around kids that age and doing what you do. Enjoy every minute you have with them.
    And yet more evidence that we are twins separated by twenty years — that you wake up before your alarm. I stopped using my alarm probably five or six years ago. No need for it if I’m wide awake long before it goes off. I hate that!

    • olivia says:

      All choices have tradeoffs. Sometimes I question my choice, but for now, it’s the right thing in the right place with the right kids. Can’t really ask for more than that.

      I could go without our twin power to wake-up at the crack of dawn, however 😉

      • kingmidget says:

        Most definitely. I absolutely drives me crazy that I wake up with plenty more sleep needed and can’t get back to sleep. I’m convinced because my subconscious knows that I have for more things to do than time.

  4. drawntostyle says:

    This is wonderful, so happy the year started off on the right foot! ❤

  5. jeffo says:

    That’s a great way to start your day!

  6. So glad that your “customers” took the time to come back and appreciate you. 🙂

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