Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Day 138- Drinks and Mom Who Gets It

I'm in the Secret Society at school.  Don't worry, I'm not spilling any big secrets here.  We're called over the intercom to remind us of our meetings, and we claim all of our good deeds.  The word secret is used quite loosely here.

The Secret Society is a club at school that does nice things for the staff.  We bring treats to faculty meetings, organize fun holiday things like Secret Santas and door decorating, and try to make things in the building fun.  One of our best recent contributions was a chocolate fountain with all the dipping lovelies at a staff meeting after school.  It was delicious and well-received.  Plus, it made the meeting more entertaining because everyone had gotten a little something chocolate somewhere in the dipping madness.  Good times.

Today we organized a lunch situation for our half day before professional development.  We had pulled pork sandwiches, chips, fruit, desserts, and... the drinks I donated. :)

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I didn't realize how much I needed to talk to my mom today until I got the busy signal. 

Luckily, I got ahold of her a few minutes later.  I had a rough day today, and I knew that she would be one of the only people who would really get it.  I knew she wouldn't feel the need to fix things or offer suggestions that didn't fit.  I knew she would be able to listen, to empathize, and to say just the right things.

And she did.

I know I've said this before, but it's really nice to share a profession with my mom.  We can have conversations about our kids and our peers and our lessons.  It turns out that eighth graders are eighth graders no matter which "M" state they live in, parents are parents, and schools share the same sets of challenges and rewards.  I'm really not sure how to explain it any other way than this.  My mom gets it.  She understands what it is like to live my daily life better than anyone else because we not only share the same job, we have the same work ethic, values, and beliefs too.  That just makes sense.

I don't think I'm making a negative-comment-on-a-positivity-only-blog kind of error when I say that I have some difficult days from time to time.  If anything, that proves that I'm real and human, right?  Rainbows and sunshine dominate most the time, but even I have my breaking point, and I reached it today.  I am the first to admit that I'm far from perfect.  I'm constantly trying to gossip less and love more.  I want to be patient more and annoyed less.  I want to know what the right thing is to do, and I want to make sure that I actually do it. 

I let things get to me today.  I got worked up and frustrated.  I allowed others to affect the way I judge and define myself.  I'm not upset by any of that anymore, though.  In fact, I'm surprised I don't feel that way more often.  In a career like teaching, I think it's perfectly natural to feel underappreciated and overlooked.  If you're going to be a lifer as a teacher, you have to be intrinsically driven.  You have to motivated by your love of the kids and the profession because those are the only guarantees you get.

The good thing is that I have that kind of motivation in spades.  I love what I do, and I truly care for my kids.  The bad thing is I have inherited a crazy work ethic from my parents.  I work harder and love deeper than anyone around me.  I don't mean to sound egotistical, but that's just part of who I am.  If I thought someone was working harder or caring more, then I'd have to spend even more time and energy at my job to keep up.  It's what will make me successful at my job, but it is also what will cause days like today.  With the constant need to be the best, it is easy to feel inadequate.

That's where my mom comes in.  I hold her teaching in the highest regard.  She has been teaching for years, but she is not complacent.  She still devotes hours upon hours of time and energy to her profession and to her students.  She is and has always been incredibly well-liked and respected by her students, and they actually learn in her class too!  That can be a rare combination.  Today was one of those days when my own positive energy was just not quite enough to overcome the deficit created at school.  I needed reassurance, and reassurance from my mom means that much more.  She gets it, after all.  If she tells me that I'm okay, then I'll believe it.

Thanks so much for being there today, Mom.  Thanks for listening and for understanding and for teaching me to be the kind of person who can't leave at 3:30 every day.  Thanks for knowing exactly what I mean.  I really needed that today.

Thank you, Mom Who Gets It, you made my day.
 

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