Have you ever had one of the those days? I have. In fact, I had one of those days today. It started with waking up to the scene above. You don't have to speculate. It's dog vomit. On the sheets, soaked through to the mattress pad, and dripped down onto the box spring in an oozing river of half-digested, pricey, prescription dog kibble. And the day was only starting.
I arrived at work, after stopping for gas because I forgot that my car was running on fumes, and was immediately greeted by an irate parent. What was she irate about? Her child earning an award. Oh, you read that right. She was mad about the award that I had given her child the day before. Why? Well, I gave the kid an award for reason X and she really wanted him to be recognized for reason Y. No, I'm not kidding. I wish I were. I can honestly say it was one of the most ridiculous things a parent has ever come after me about in 16 years of teaching. It really upset me and made me so mad. Mercifully, the bell for school to start rang and she left. She also went straight to the principal to continue her tirade about her child getting an award.
For my next trick, I turned around to open my classroom door and let my students inside and realized I had locked my keys inside the room. After getting the custodian to come let me in, I decided to forget about the irate parent and have a great day with my kiddos.They had other plans. They tried to forget half of what I've taught them this year. Those that I usually count on the "get it" were suddenly befuddled. The Common Core teaching strategies I was excited to try, didn't go as smoothly as I'd hoped. By lunch, I was exhausted, deflated, irritated, aggravated, and agitated. Then, I remembered something!
I remembered my "good things" file! Every teacher needs one. It's full of reminders why I do what I do for a living.
There are the cards with drawings that students past and present have given to me. I appreciate that they always make me look fitter and thinner than I really am.
There are appreciative notes from parents who aren't mad at me.
There are the end of the year notes from students telling me that I "teached them good".
There are notes I've saved from former bosses that remind me that I can teach and that I do have lessons that go as planned.
There are even notes from a few brave students that want to have me for a teacher again next year.
By the time my lunch was over and my time flipping through my "good things" file was done, I felt refreshed and recharged. I welcomed my little cherubs back into the room with a smile on my face, determined to give that Common Core lesson another try.