“You May Be a Teacher If…”
When your mind might as well be a web browser with 2,367 tabs open? Meetings before (and sometimes after) work, scarfing down your lunch in ten minutes while making copies and running to the bathroom before heading out to duty while checking your mailbox—one of THOSE days?
If you are nodding your head “Yes,” then the following scenario may also resonate with you:
It’s Sunday night. Also known as “Shumonday.” The time of the week where Sunday blurs into Monday and it’s time to put your nose to the grindstone. Typing away on a laptop while seated on the couch in your pjs planning a week of fun and excitement while simultaneously differentiating for all learning styles, meeting the standards, including an attention-grabbing anticipatory set, ensuring student lead activities and discussion, incorporating technology, and ending with a closure that will send the students running in excitement to complete their homework—all part of the lesson plan that you are about to submit. Yep, you’re a teacher. And cheers! It’s Shumonday!
But aside from the fact that we literally don’t stop from the time we step out of our cars to the time we pull out of the parking lot and are all magicians of our craft toasting one another from our sofas on a Sunday evening, there are quite a few idiosyncrasies that put teachers in a class (pardon the pun) by themselves.
From carrying around highlighters, pens, and sticky notes on our person at all times to having a Pinterest board obsession for our next literal bulletin board, our passion runs deep for what we do. We can’t go anywhere--a vacation, a movie, a festival-- without thinking about a way we could incorporate something from this experience into a lesson. We’re used to being called “Mom” (or “Dad”), and we get just as excited as the students (or even more) about holidays and summer vacation. Over the years, teachers see what works and what doesn’t.
We get to know each personality type and develop a gift of putting the right book in the right student’s hands. We refer to our students as our “kids” because quite frankly, they are. They live in our thoughts, our prayers, our goals, and our hearts not only during the time we have together, but throughout their lives. Their successes become ours because all we’ve ever wanted for them was for them to see the potential in themselves that we did as their teacher. We all know the best gift we could ever receive is to see a former student, one of our “kids,” successful and happy.
So maybe we did the right tricks to make it count and maybe we left the right tab open in our brain browser. Whatever it is, don’t stop doing it. Cheers, teachers! Don’t stop working your magic.
Amanda Shackelford is a middle school English teacher. She is a product of Iberia Parish Public School System and now in her 10th year teaching in Lafayette Parish Public Schools.