Friday, May 22, 2015

It's nearly the end of the year. In many parts of Texas, students finished their last day today! As for me and my darlings (my biological children, the students in my school, and the teachers in my school - some of which are young enough to be my offspring), we will be in school until June 4.

The end of the year means tying up all the loose ends: end of year diagnostic tests, sharing out STAAR scores, informing students they might have to attend summer school, preparing yourself to miss that special group of students who "just get you," preparing yourself to send positive thoughts and vibes and karma and stuff to that special group of students who aren't at all excited about summer because school is their only safe place...their guaranteed two meals a day...their guaranteed hug of the day...their one solitary constant.

This year has been full of learning curves, discoveries, realizations, and reality checks for me. The last few weeks have been especially brutal, and I find myself looking back at that beginning of the year advice I gave myself in this blog post: You just can't make everybody happy.

Now that we're at the end of the year, here is my bigger realization: You can't make people happy who are content to be unhappy. Happiness is something you create for yourself; unhappiness is also something you create for yourself. Your actions toward and with other people are completely dependent on your own level of happiness.

My takeaway from this year, while maybe a little harsh, is this: if you aren't happy with yourself and you are bringing that into a world of students who need the nurturing guidance and support of capable adults, then maybe a world filled with kids and education and other teachers and the ups and downs of the middle years is not ideally suited for you. If you aren't gaining positive energy in some form or fashion from your work, you just might not be in the correct place.

None of us are in the business of education for the glamorous salary and benefits. We're in it because we care about generations of kids and their success and the mark they will leave on our country some day.

I'm going to watch a movie now, without giving this a second (or third) read, and I will come back and correct my mistakes after the movie.

And now I will gracefully step down from my soapbox of the week...

And for the record, I am truly thankful for this realization...

And for all of the rain this month...

And for all the cute puppies in the world...

And for full glasses of wine.

The end.

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