I have to be extra careful to maintain professionalism as of late. I took one heck of an emotional blow but I’m recovering. I’m past the stage of craving doing anything stupid to burn bridges. I’m back to treating others as I wish to be treated, to being the better person even when it makes me grind my teeth.
My students have shown me all sorts of ways that they care about me and their unhappiness with my not returning next year.
One said he wanted to tell whoever’s responsible for letting me go that there’ll be fewer students next year if I don’t return.
I’ve been asked several times how I’m feeling. They’ve never had to ask all year. I tell them how I truly feel but in a way to set a positive example. I want to show them how to properly handle curve balls life will inevitably throw them.
I took a sick day on a Monday to help myself recuperate and get in pages for the yearbook in time for deadline, and that evening I received text messages from a few students asking if I was going to be in on Tuesday. They were worried about me.
I also received a text message from another student that admitted to not being pleasant towards me at the beginning of the year, and said student said I would be missed. This came from a student who doesn’t like to admit to being at fault for the slightest infraction, so the words carried extra weight.
I learned another student cried after finding out. The news made most of them very angry, especially the ones that have given me the hardest time.
I’ve learned a lot from this experience. The whole thing still tastes like a sour lemon but I’m slowly turning it into lemonade.
I’ve learned that consistently reinforcing healthy structure despite all the whining and resistance is one of the best things I can do for youths. They appreciate and respect it whether or not they’ll ever admit to it.
I’ve learned some tougher lessons as well. I’m a naive, trusting person. I don’t know if I’ll ever change that. I think it’d be too exhausting to live under constant guard. I’ve been there, done that. However, I do know I’ll be changing some habits to help protect against dishonest, selfish people. I’ll be saving every last email and piece of paper handed to me in a work environment–the whole CYA thing.
In the end, I’ve learned I have what it takes to be a good teacher. I have the innate personality and passion any school would want in its teachers. Once I’ve been trained, things will get even better.