Grateful for My Career and My Job and The Journey
By Renee Bodkin
While walking through the halls this afternoon I saw a colleague, we exchanged small talk and continued on our way. These words came out of my mouth – “I like it here.” I know so many people who complain about their job and grumble about going to work each day. My job is definitely not a “walk in the park”. I teach some of the most challenging (and challenged) students at this high school. But at the end of the day – and at the end of the school year – I know that I’ve positively impacted some of these kids’ lives. And for that reason – I am grateful. There are days where I’m ready to rip my hair out and throw papers in the air. But then I’m reminded that it matters. What I do matters. Not to all of these kids. But definitely to some of them.
The beginning of the school year is a mix of ups and downs – anticipation of a new school year, a blank slate, a chance to start anew – it’s also a myriad of headaches and stressors as schedules get changed and changed again, students test the limits, and routines are set in motion. This past week was a frustrating one as we couldn’t nail down the “right schedules” for everyone, I way too many students in my classroom at times and teaching and getting routines set were next to impossible with the revolving door of kids in and out not knowing where they should be. It was so difficult that my awesome husband felt the need to send me these beautiful flowers in the middle of my day because he knew how very stressed and overwhelmed I was.
It’s a new week and now things are settling in and I walk out at the end of the work day grateful that I have this job.
Recently a “good” student said to me (after another student was loud and disruptive), “I don’t know how you do it, I’d hit that kid if I was the teacher!” And I said to her, “I try to be understanding of his limitations and ultimately I like my paycheck too much to ever consider being ‘unprofessional’.” This is my 14th year teaching in this school and I am grateful for the experiences I’ve had along this journey. I recently told my boys that we have goals and destinations in life but we must always appreciate the journey as we strive to meet those goals and reach those destinations.
So my take away today — be grateful for “the journey”.