Everything in the letter is scarily accurate. I have hit the point in the year where I want desperately to just leave, go home to where I know there is food in the fridge, and maybe someone to ask me how my day was. Really, it isn't that bad I know! but some days I very much feel like it is. I get up to go to school every day for these kids, and once I get there I remember.
Recently, they've all been saying, "Ms. Helm listen! Look what happens when I go like this!!" Proceed to make inhuman/gross noises out of their instrument. Isn't that sooo cool?|!? I cringe, and they laugh. They haven't done this until recently, so I'm guessing it's the weather.
I play a funny on my advanced kids every week, and finally last week my one brilliant student caught on to what was happening.
A little background; my students think I only like them on Tuesday's, because I told them so. After a few weeks on a Wednesday I told them, "Students that was so yesterday and maybe today I will like you! Eventually, they've start arguing about whether the day I like them is Tuesday or Wednesday, and if they say it IS Tuesday that you like us, and I say well, I am pretty sure it is only Wednesdays. On Wednesday's I tell them the same only that the day is Tuesday. They go bananas arguing about it as though it is the most important thing, and I laugh. The lone cello player, this week while they were arguing told me very seriously he was sure I said Tuesday's. I said I know, he said then why..... trailed off...and then I looked at him raised eyebrows and we both started laughing. He said, "Ms. Helm, you are good!" I am good.
Speaking of cellos, I bought cello rosin just to have some on hand. It is the nice stuff, and I used it all my cello bows today. I wish I could capture their faces when this big noise comes out al of a sudden. It scares them, and then they start giggling (cellos are always giggling). Then the viola players all want some of the magic stuff. "Don't you want louder too?" they say. I just laugh (no way jose). My beginners don't understand why they can't have some. Silly violas!
As you can see, nothing too exciting. I am surviving, barely. Glad to get a break! Oh, and here is the letter. I copy and pasted it. It's from a blog post I found from somewhere.
Dear First-Year Teacher,
I love you. I know that it’s soon, and I know that this might freak you out, but I can’t keep it inside anymore. I LOVE YOU! There. I said it.
I love that you have willingly entered a profession knowing that it is difficult. You’ve heard horror stories of the long hours, the nonexistent weekends, the classroom management, the parent management, the education policies that continue to get more and more ludicrous, the tiny paychecks, and you showed up anyway. You’re here because teaching and kids and the future mean a lot to you.
I love the fresh ideas that you bring. Whether you’re coming in with a degree in education or six weeks of training from an alternative certification program, you are bursting with cool ideas and new ways of doing things. Online funding for field trips, crazy new apps that look like they’re from the future, foldables for note-taking so elaborate they make paper cranes look like child’s play: I LOVE YOUR BRAIN! Some of your ideas will work and be absolutely genius, some might be on their way to genius and just need some tweaking, and some might crumble apart in your hands as you stand there weeping, but don’t you dare stop cranking them out. I need them! Your students need them! The world needs them!
I love your energy and enthusiasm. Where does it come from, and how can I arrange to have it injected intravenously? There are times where you feel like your joy and spirit have been stomped on and intentionally set on fire by your students or other people around you, but just stop, drop, and roll onward, my friend. Your optimism and upbeat attitude are just some of the things I love best about you.
I know that it's hard sometimes. I've been there. The paralyzing, hopeless feeling that settles in on Sunday afternoons. The head-on-your-desk cries at the end of a school day (and sometimes, right in the middle of it). The words that feel like the only ones you use while speaking to family and friends anymore: "Sorry, I' can't make it to [special event or fun outing] because I have to [insert teaching commitment here]." But just know that it won't always be this way. It's not that it gets easier, necessarily, or that those things disappear, but right now you are getting stronger, faster, and more equipped to manage the parts that are difficult. So don't give up. Keep fighting the good fight. There are too many people that love you and need you. (Like me.)
I’m sorry to tell you this in a letter instead of in person, but I’ve been by your house every night this week and you haven’t been home. Are you working or something?
Your Very Public Admirer
Love, Teach teaches English at a Title I middle school and writes about it at http://www.loveteachblog.com. In addition to teaching, she enjoys most large bodies of water, tetherball, and this YouTube video of baby fennec foxes taking a bubble bath.