Thursday, August 15, 2013

Teachers are Better Than Me

School is only days away.  I have moved past the denial stage, through anger, bargaining, and depression.  I've made it all the way to acceptance.  This thing is happening.  Might as well embrace it. 

I've stocked up on hand sanitizer, juice boxes and granola bars.  I have tutors' contact info saved to my favorites.  Now I'm just waiting for my first day in a quiet house.  You see, I've got big things planned for when the kids are at school.  (Probably none of which I'll actually accomplish, but I'm planning them just the same.)  I'm going to read a book, use a spa gift card I've been holding onto for 3 years, take a nap, and maybe stop by the gym.  Maybe. 

I can't begin to explain how grateful I am for the people who will make those blissful moments possible. 

Over the course of my parenting years, I've spent a lot of time in classrooms.  A lot of time seeing what teachers are faced with daily.  It's not pretty.  Boogers, back talk, potty accidents, arguments...and then they get to deal with us too.  (I cannot fathom the level of patience a person would need to make it through 30ish parent/teacher conferences.  I am breaking out in hives just thinking about it.)  And the truly strange thing?  Teachers, really truly good teachers, seem to enjoy it.

Teachers are better than me.

When my kids tell me stories at home, my responses are things like "uh"  When my kids tell their teachers a story, I hear responses like "Then what did you do?  What did he say next?  What did you learn?"  They're better than me.

If my child falls at home, my reaction is a quick "Shake it off."  No kidding.  It could be a compound fracture, and without looking, my first response would be "Shake it off."  My kid falls at school, and the teacher is there to help them up with kind words, a hug, and an ice pack. 

When my kids forget to pack themselves a snack (They are 8 and 11.  Fully old enough to grab an apple from the fridge.  Snack duty isn't my job anymore), then tell me they're hungry?  Yeah, that's too bad.  When a child at school forgets their lunch on a field trip?  I've seen teachers give up their own lunch so the student won't go hungry.  I'm not giving up my lunch for anyone.  Not even to the child with the saddest, puppy dog eyes in the school.  Teachers are so much better.

Sometimes teachers sacrifice time with their own families to be there for ours.  They miss their kids' sporting events for parent nights.  They miss performances for fundraisers.  Some give up their evenings and early mornings to help kids who are falling a little behind.  I don't know that I would wake up an hour earlier than necessary to go over math facts with a child who didn't belong to me.  I don't know that I would wake up an hour earlier than necessary for a child who does belong to me.  I know for sure that I wouldn't miss seeing my son score a touchdown to answer questions at an open house. 

My home is full of love and laughs.  It's full of silliness and big personalities.  A teacher's classroom is full of that stuff too, but it's kept in nice balance with structure, discipline and learning.  That's a balancing act that I haven't mastered.  I've got the discipline thing, ok.  And I own books.  But structure?  Now they're just making me look bad. 

As you can see, there are many reasons I have not chosen to home-school.

I am not a teacher.  I could go to school, study education for years, and get a job teaching, but I doubt even then that I would be a teacher.  I'm fairly certain teachers are born.  Not made.  And as I said, I am thankful for all the teachers who dedicate their lives to providing me with peace 5 days a week throughout the school year.  (That is what they dedicate their lives to, right?  Whatever.  It's an added bonus, anyway.) 

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