I was disenchanted about heading back to school and what that might mean for me. I teach at the secondary level, and the question about whether kids will be returning or should be is always on my mind. Despite my being initially disgruntled about having to report to campus when all could be accomplished at home–wrapped in my cocoon of safety with my Keurig just a short distance away and my kittens tumbling about–I am grateful.
While many individuals around our community are struggling with downsizing and the pressure that comes with not knowing what bills will get paid this month, I am grateful to be a part of a community of educators that not only looks after each other’s well-being but also stands up for each other. The praise that came in early spring seems to have been all but dashed away this fall, as things went from bad to worse and have begun to slowly right itself again. I would urge anyone who feels a depth of concern about the overly-optimistic press releases from their district to lean on their co-workers and their PLC teams as they continue to be a key factor to my success. I’m not going to lie, it is easy to slip into negative thoughts about the state of education that it’s hard to drown out the cacophony of the disgruntled collective. Sometimes a little reminder is in order to focus our perspective.
I was reminded yesterday in my Saturday extravaganza (professional development) about the need to be flexible and what we as individuals hope to take with us long after this is over. I needed to remind myself that the routines and structures that I have built over the years have transformed, and, at times, all been replaced. Additionally, I needed to step back and reflect on why I do this. My answer…I believe in service.
I think back to 2010 when I first got hired as a teacher. I was overjoyed and so proud. I couldn’t imagine that I would get to spend all day doing things I love: reading, writing, talking about writing, sharing my love of words, and teaching. I’ve been a teacher since I was a young boy, as school was my favorite game to play, and now I get to do this every day. I don’t pretend that every day is going to be easy, nor do I ignore science, the state of affairs, the words from our political leaders, and the echoes from our distressed parents & families. There is only so much I can control, and with that I need to make the best of it.
So I discovered something in all this. I actually love online teaching. I still get to create relationships with my students, still get to teach English, but now digitally. If real life ever had a mute button, I would sure use it. Now with the situation I find myself in, it’s no longer just a possibility but an essential tool.
I run on coffee and words. Cruciverbalist much?! Staunch feminist. Fiercely independent. I regularly serve as an election judge for the election’s department because politics is my other passion, and I also teach adult education. My favorite book is The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo. Catch me on the flip side enjoying hookah or a mean game of Scrabble. I will engage you in a long conversation if you let me. My San Antonio mission is to find the perfect concha.