#teacherstats

There is this thing floating around Facebook that I’ve seen several of my teacher friends post. Usually I don’t click on them or try them on my own, but this one was super cool because it was all about #teacherstats! Here is mine:

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It’s insane to me that I’ve been teaching for 7 years! And what’s even more insane is the amount of students I’ve taught. This is obviously just an estimate but for 6 years, I taught middle school (still technically do although 6th grade to me will always be elementary school) which means I taught a crazy amount of students. It’s a wonder how I was able to memorize all those names!

I didn’t always know I wanted to be a teacher. I’ve always loved school and I did well enough (A’s and B’s and graduated in the top 40 of my 500+ high school class– I know, I’m bragging). I can’t even say teaching was always in the back of my mind for a potential career because it never was. I knew I wanted to do something that helped others and somehow it ended by being teaching.

The first 6 years of my teaching career were tough. I taught middle school (already super tough) in a very low-income area of Phoenix. I had kids talking back constantly, kids who failed but were passed on to the next grade, kids who were (maybe) suspended for fighting/cursing at their teachers, kids who did drugs in the bathroom, and even a kid who threatened me and another teacher (a police report was filed; I still get notices and currently a warrant is out for his arrest). Really, to say it was tough was an understatement. And when you pair that with administration that looks the other way and provides no support to teachers, it’s a recipe for disaster. I get mad that I let myself stay in a miserable place for 6 years but it’s so easy to sign a contract (in March, mind you. The school year isn’t even over until May and you have to sign a contract for the NEXT school year months before) over the risk of not finding another job. The district also had the highest pay in Phoenix (even over swankier places likes Scottsdale) and there was no way I could take a pay cut to leave.

During this time, I researched other careers SO many times. But what else can I do with a Bachelors in Sociology and a Masters in Education? Nothing that required more school. And so I kept teaching, dreading each day and coming home absolutely exhausted.

Last March, I didn’t sign my contract. It was the best feeling in the world. I had no job lined up, no definite source of income coming to me in the future, but man, to submit my resignation letter was the best. I remember texting my mom a picture of my name on the school board minutes when the resignation was approved (and um, why does it need approval? Ridiculous) because I was that excited. The first few weeks of summer were¬†stressful; I applied to dozens and dozens of jobs. And if I wasn’t applying, I was looking. Luckily I didn’t have to wait or look for too long. I only did one interview/demo lesson at another school before I accepted the job at my current school.

This past school year has (almost) erased all the poor memories of my previous teaching years. Despite the tough days that still do happen, I love my 6th graders. They exhaust me in a very different way than my previous students. This type of exhaust is a good one– they challenge me to be a better teacher and it’s sad that it took me 7 years to finally start being the teacher I wanted to be. And it definitely doesn’t hurt that my administration is the best. I now take pride in saying that I’m a teacher and don’t have to fake liking what I do. I still daydream about what it would be like to be a travel blogger or an interior designer, but I can happily say now that I chose the best career for me. And while I may not have a ton of money in my bank account or have the funds for all the places I want to travel, bags I want to buy, or shoes I wish I could have, I am fairly positive I have the best job in the world.

Life Lately

Life lately has been a whole lot of busy. Here are some of the things I’ve been up to:

Work// I had my third formal observation of the year on Monday. I am used to being evaluated, both formally and informally, but my new school has performance-based pay which adds an extra element to the process. I am super proud of my evaluations so far and am pretty tough on myself because I constantly want to be improving as a teacher. Oh, and our new campus will be done in a few weeks and our official move-in date is March 2nd! I cannot wait!

Sick// I have been sick for what seems like forever. Right when I start feeling better, I am coughing again. Earlier this week there were 6 kids absent in my one class of 29 so something is definitely going around. I’ve been really busy on the weekends and go-go-go during the week that my body is just begging for a day of rest. I decided to take today off and just relax and rest my voice. That’s one thing with being a teacher; there are no breaks ever during the day. I don’t get to sit down at my desk and “take it easy” so I am super thankful for the extra long weekend.

Sports// Yes, there is a sports update. Michael works at ESPN as a content researcher and was invited to a Super Bowl party at one of the anchor’s houses. It was a fun place to watch the game and meet some of the people Michael works with. The taco truck didn’t hurt and Michael enjoyed introducing me to the “famous” people aka ex-sports players that he works with. My dad and I went to the Gonzaga game at LMU last Thursday. We knew it was going to be a blowout game, but it is always fun to watch my team! I can’t say that the traffic to get to the game was anything fun though– an hour and 15 minutes to go from Pasadena to LMU! No, thank you!

Family// Kelley and James were in town over the weekend for a visit so I spent the weekend out in Corona. They were pretty busy with wedding to-do lists and making sure to see everyone they needed to, but I’m glad I was able to see them for the time I did! And I am always up for a weekend at my parents since it involves slumber parties with Pippa!

Michael// Michael has been out of town for work lately. He got sent to OKC to cover the Thunder game against Golden State and decided to have an extended layover in Phoenix (his hometown) on the way back. We did dinner on Valentine’s Day after I picked him up at the airport and on Sunday, he will be headed on another trip for work to Bristol. We have very different work schedules right now so I appreciate the time I am able to see him… and watch Homeland ;).

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And I will leave you with this lovely picture of blue skies and palm trees… it’s supposed to rain pretty much all weekend so I will be staring at this.