…I’m not going to finish that statement. I could make a list of all the things I’m sick and tired of, but that’s not going to help anyone. Returning from any vacation is tough, and I’m definitely feeling conflicted as I think about my own self-worth and where I see myself both next year and in the long term. However, every time I begin feeling fed up with my job, my students will say something or do something funny or insightful or just strange that keeps me going throughout the day. Recently, we’ve had great conversations about radiation and the universe. Science instruction has been neglected for years in public education, so my students are filled with misconceptions due to a lack of exposure to factual information. My favorite part of teaching, however, is breaking down their many misconceptions and building them back up with relevant, correct information. I’m not afraid to admit when I don’t know something, but I’ve been on a roll lately, and I enjoy the mental exercise of fielding questions of all kinds throughout the day.
“Mr. B, were you white when you were younger & then turned black because of UV Rays?” Okay, that one threw me off guard.
My students are what keep me going, but I don’t know if it is enough. I get so frustrated by their circumstances and I want better for them. I also want better for myself. I hope I’m around long enough to see that day when those two things are not mutually exclusive. In the meantime, I will celebrate my students’ successes and questions, and be thankful that I’m only tired, not sick as well.
Poverty has and is presently beating down the students we seek to serve. I worry that as my coworkers and I fight against and compensate for this unjust force, it will continue to oppress our kids and wear away at the adults as well. May we find the motivation and strength from within to keep on working against our unjust system.