From Crappiness.. To Happiness

My day – kind of follows this notion… Started off crappy – ended up happy.

Those are how many of my days go as a teacher.  Especially a teacher at an urban, inner-city school.  Students in many inner-city schools do not have the privledges that I was fortunate enough to have growing up.

     

Many come from broken homes.

Where there is a single parent.. working many jobs -just to pay rent.

In my school, over 95% of the students receive free or reduced priced lunch.  These kids do not live easy lives.  But they are so young – and so innocent.  They really have no control over the hand that they have been dealt.

From broken homes, often come broken children. Children who – try as they may — just can’t seem to overcome their situation.  I deal with parents who want NOTHING more then success for their children – for the opportunity to get out of their current situation – graduate high school; go to college; get a good job.

For many inner city students – this does not end up being the case.  I have students who hear gunshots outside of their windows when they are sleeping at night… who don’t get enough sleep because of the sirens – or the yelling from next door.

Granted – I am not speaking for every student in my school – but I do know that the life they live – is much tougher then it should be.  These 8 year olds know way to much about things I did not hear of until I was a teenager.

It can be depressing.  It can be heartbreaking.  It can really drain a person.  I have always been the one who wants to play the savior.  I want NOTHING more then for each and everyone of my children to be successful – and I know they are all capable of beating the streets that they live on. I want to help steer them towards their destiny -towards the road of opportunity.

And I do all that I can in the classroom – to make this a reality.  But that is ALL I have control over … What happens in the classroom. And sometimes, that is hard to accept.  Because I am starting to realize – that I am not here to save each of these students.. that is not my role.

I am a teacher.

I am a support… sometimes I play the role of Mommy or Daddy.. or a nurse when there is a boo-boo.

I am a mentor – trying to guide students to make the right decisions.. without making the decision for them.

I am an ear to listen.

I am a great big hug with a celebration of success.

And a great big hug.. when the tears are falling and the world just doesn’t seem right.

And it is on tough days like today – when I feel like everything that I have done comes unraveled.. I must accept that I am not a savior.  I am not a miracle worker. While I would love to move mountains.. that just isn’t going to happen. It is tough to swallow.. and makes days like today extremley frustrating.

But I must not lose hope. Because what I am doing is important. And I am making a difference in each of these children’s lives.  A big difference. Tomorrow is another day.. and it will be a better day.

I really needed to get that down in writing. Because I needed a pep talk.. I needed to reaffirm. And, well.. blogging was my outlet today. Thanks for reading my ramblings 🙂

After a stressful day at school – I knew a run just wasn’t in the books.  However – what I could really benefit from.. is some yoga.  At home style.  I headed on over the Exercise TV – and did a little yoga sculpt. (Where do you get your at home yoga from??)

Of course. the one time the bed in the extra room is NOT made..

It was just what I needed. And it certainly left me feeling refreshed. Lifting my mood just a tad.

Justin whipped up some sweet and sour chicken for dinner (meaning I had to do NOTHING)… my mood was lifted a tad more.

I took a look through the mail.. and noticed a REWARDS certificate.. from DSW… that I can combine with my OTHER rewards certificate…

Lifting my mood even more. I mean.. who wouldn’t feel giddy inside with $30 worth of coupons to DSW.

And I am relaxing tonight.. knowing that tomorrow.. my studnets are in for a treat. A field trip.

To an aquarium… and a viewing of an IMAX film.  Experiences that some of my students might not have if it weren’t for field trips.  Tomorrow – I will see those smiling faces.. the looks of awe and innocence as they experience new and exciting things.

Their radiance and excitement for learning.. will shine.

And so will I.

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22 responses to “From Crappiness.. To Happiness

  1. you’ve gotta try p90x yoga! It’s awesome:)

  2. Sometimes you teachers don’t get the credit you deserve. Your students are lucky to have someone like you who genuinely cares and wants to touch each of them in a positive way. I hope tomorrow is a great day for you & your students!

  3. You sound like such an amazing teacher! You seem to really understand your students and that’s half the battle! What a great post! 🙂

  4. The work you do is so important and life-changing 🙂 I can totally understand how you feel having worked with at risk youth here in Chicago as well as in DC. I am sure that your classroom is a place your kids feel safe and loved even when they have terrible home lives. You do your best for them and that is all anybody can ask.

    I love doing yoga at home I use Dave Swanson’s Ashtanga book to guide my practice. It’s awesome.

    I hope wednesday is an better day.

  5. You are a saint to be a teacher! I work in a daycare and working with kids is SO stressful! Teachers do not get enough credit 🙂

  6. You are so right in this post! I am also working in a school where most of the children come from “social inadequate” conditions – broken families, no education, no sense for morality or healthcare… It is so hard and demanding sometimes, but I alway feel so good when I am able to help those kids at least a little with their steps to better living:)

  7. Aww, you are doing a good thing being a teacher 🙂 I know I would want you to teach my kids!

    Yoga and good mail does help too 😉

  8. Being a teacher is SUCH an admirable career. It must be so difficult to do it in inner city schools! I can’t even imagine. You should be very proud of yourself!

  9. Teachers like you make such a big impact. Remind yourself of how amazing you are and how important it is what you do anytime you are feeling down!

  10. I LOVE yoga<–totally calms the mind. yipppee!

  11. You’re so inspiring. I don’t think I could go to work everyday knowing that’s what I would face.

    I don’t really do yoga at home because I don’t have any dvds or channels that offer it. I always feel silly/like it’s not worth it to do my own flow.

  12. Yoga sounded perfect after a stressful teaching day. I know how those go since I used to teach before staying at home. You are certainly making an impact in those kids’ lives. 🙂

    • How long did you teach for?! Did you start staying at home once you had your baby? (Honestly.. this is what I hope to be able to do in the future when I have kids.. I had my mom home..and wouldn’t have wanted it any other way!)

  13. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be being with those children everyday and knowing most of them have difficult lives after school. I give you a lot of credit for what you do! Keep up the good work Teach!

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