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.


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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