An exhausting day

2 Mar

I love my job. I am a teacher. I work part-time at the same school my children go to as the Math Coordinator. That is a fancy way of saying that I do math tutoring for students who are struggling in math. My job is complicated and satisfying. I don’t get paid enough but I still love my job. Because I make no effort whatever to hide my identity, I can’t talk about my job a lot. Talking about my job would truly be telling tales out of school in a most unprofessional way.

I came to teaching elementary school students later in life. I just finished my teaching credential in December. I am still a novice teacher. Becoming a teacher when I was already experienced at work and teaching (adults) as well as already being a mother to my own children has given me an interesting perspective, I think. And, I have learned a LOT from this process.

My respect for teachers has grown exponentially since I’ve been doing the job. Today was the day at my school that we hold meetings about students who are struggling. The parents come in and meet with a team from the school including our Resource Specialist, Literacy Specialist, a lower grade teacher, an upper grade teacher, the District’s psychologist, the student’s classroom teacher and any other professionals who may be valuable to the process. And, that’s where I come into the meetings. When the classroom teacher requests it, I make myself available to attend the meeting for the students I work with. The process is a very healthy and respectful one but it is still painful. We definitely keep tissue on hand for the parents. Their anxiety is palpable during these meetings. It is never easy being told that something is wrong with your child or simply that something isn’t working for your child. So, the parents are always very stressed about this process. As a professional who works with these children, we care about them deeply. This is a small school and we watch kids grow and change from year to year and we care about them.

Our hope is that these meetings result in positive changes for the children. I’ve been to a few of these meetings and I’ve been very pleased with the results. But, it’s a hard, exhausting day. I came home today and put on comfy clothes and watched mindless tv for awhile. My brain needed a break!

On a birdy note, the ravens are so present at school right now. Spring is in the air and they are loving on each other. A 2nd grader was telling me that she noticed how a raven was kissing his wife raven! I loved it. We also saw a raven on the roof of one of the classrooms doing a public service for the school. The kids regularly kick balls on the roofs and this raven took a small football and dropped it off the roof. The kids were amazed!

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5 Responses to “An exhausting day”

  1. LauraHinNJ 2 March, 2007 at 3:49 am #

    Teacher blues – I hear ya!

    Amazing how easy it is to fall for other people’s children. I don’t fell that so much anymore that I teach college-level, but I know what you’re talking about Liza.

    Enuf said!

    Ravens aren’t usual here so I don’t get to appreciate how smart and playful they are – thanks for that.

  2. Liza Lee Miller 2 March, 2007 at 5:25 am #

    We went opposite directions, Laura. I used to teach at the college-level and now I’m teaching littles. Funny world!

    Thanks for understanding.

    And, the Ravens make me laugh everyday.

  3. Mary 2 March, 2007 at 1:59 pm #

    I’m not a teacher, Liza, but like you, I have a deep respect for teachers since I worked in a high school for 15 years. It never gets easy to watch distraught parents and their kids. It’s just as difficult when they are teenagers…to see a 17 year old boy and his parents cry really break my heart.

    Ravens on the playground – what fun!

  4. robin andrea 2 March, 2007 at 3:52 pm #

    I worked with college-aged kids for fifteen years at UCSC. During one two-year stint as an academic adviser, I worked exclusively with students who were on academic probation. It was a very challenging job. So, I can only imagine what it must be like to work with children who are not achieving academic expectations, and to have to talk with parents. Must be good to have those wildly beautiful ravens there to balance out the pain of those moments.

  5. Susan Gets Native 3 March, 2007 at 3:13 am #

    I educate, but I get the fun stuff without the sad stuff. I don’t have to go back and see if the kids or adults learned anything from me.
    I wonder what the results would be if I tested everyone.
    I have so much respect for what you and Laura do. A thankless job, but also a very rewarding one.
    I think I should look up all of my past teachers and profs and thank them. And apologize for taking them for granted.

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