Every so often people ask me why I get into teaching. I could say I’m there to make a difference but I would be lying. I don’t teach for the holidays and everyone knows you don’t get into teaching for the money.
The truth is I teach for the LOLz.
Those laugh out loud moments that can only happen when teaching Year 7 and 8 students. They can spring up in serious lessons but there are some situations that lend themselves to a class of 11 and 12 year olds dissolving into giggles. This week as my students prepared for their assembly, we had a few goofy moments as we put together our acts.I know that when all is said and done, my students aren’t going to remember my lessons on adding fractions or inferencing but they are going to remember that time we had a race to eat chopsticks with jellybeans.
Sometimes I find my twitter feed depressing. National Standards are destroying learning, charter schools are the end of the world as we know it, PaCT will eat us all. I’m not negating these very real concerns but I often wonder if teachers as a group are prone to co-rumination. I know I’m not the only one who on occasion likes to vent and rant but I sometimes wonder if this is healthy. It’s amazing how quickly a “me too!” response to a bad day or depressing government announcement can quickly turn into grievance one-upsmanship.
As a result I’ve done a bit of pruning not because I’m not acutely aware of education but because that negative headspace online was having offline consequences. I don’t want to be a grumpy moaning teacher simply because my students will not remember what I’ve taught them but how they felt during their middle school years.
I hope alongside a love books and storytelling, my students remember the LOLz.
Great post, Stephanie. You articulated something I am very passionate about.
I think of schools as communities – and being part of a community good and bad is what makes teaching such a fine job… and that certainly includes the LOL moments but also includes watching the shows, supporting the teams, occasionally sharing the sadness.
Regarding grumpy teachers – this is a risk in any high pressure environment where people work closely together… but seems quite common in the teaching profession. Is there a collective noun for a group of grumpy teachers?