I don’t feel stressed. Actually, I feel exhausted, caffeinated, overworked, jealous, dirty, and underfed. But I don’t feel stressed. Why am I breaking out like a pubescent teenager then?
I am sure you heard things like this when you were growing up:
“In Middle School, they make you write in pen and cursive. No pencils and no erasers.”
“British Lit AP is seriously the hardest class you’ll ever take.”
People with experience always seem to make mountains out of mole hills, so when I heard 2011 Corps Members say things like, “Institute will be one of the most difficult things you’ve ever done,” I took it with a grain of salt. I was kind of saying to myself, “Really?! REALLY?!”
Seriously though, this is real, folks.
I feel like that “David After the Dentist” kid. “Is this real life? I can’t feel anything.”
Imagine wanting to go into a professional career that takes years to develop the necessary skills, smashing the accumulation of knowledge of it into five weeks, and tacking on two aptitude tests. Stressful, right?
Not gonna lie… it’s been pretty trying, but I saw something today that completely changed me. Something that made me forget the tedious lesson planning and vision creations, the sleepless night before or the lack of quality exercise.
I saw Caesar’s face.* Not the, “E tu Brute?” Caesar, but another kind.
I saw Kira, Evan, Amy, Tony, and Missy’s face. I saw Julie’s face.
These 2nd graders in Avondale, AZ are real kids. They have real dreams and they have real struggles. Some of them have parents who have been “gone to Mexico” for months while others are struggling to read at a Pre-School reading level.
Somehow they’re excitement to meet me and their vivacity to live their tiny little lives make me forget about my personal struggles to keep up with an ever-growing work load. They inspire me to get through those lesson plans and make sure that everything is in perfect working order by the time I enter the classroom.
My life has suddenly gone from a revolution around my success, to one around these student’s success and furthermore, our country’s success. No, not as in the “It takes a village” sort of way, but in a way that we are all stewards of our country’s future.
Did I mention that I forgot how it feels to be the coolest person in the room? These 2nd graders can either make you feel like everything you’re saying is golden or that what you’ve just said makes them, “Want to rip their eyeballs out.” (Yes, a young boy actually said that about a math objective)
I love ‘em and can’t wait to teach music in the fall!
*All the names have been changed for privacy.