Note: This post started on November 27th and completed on March 27th.

The news this week has been dark, more so than usual. It hasn’t been easy to sleep. On my early morning drive to the high-school on Wednesday morning, I turned off the radio and thought about the day I had ahead of me. The day before Thanksgiving, we were supposed to have an early dismissal at 1pm but with the freezing rain already falling, I believed we would be sent home even sooner. I was supposed to head up to my parents’ house in the Berkshires but with a foot of snow predicted, I believed I would be left to a quiet night in PA. So I was thinking about all of the contingency plans: what I would I do if classes were cut back to 20 minutes? What if I saw my 7th period Algebra class but not my 8th and 9th period classes? What would I assign for homework if we didn’t get through the full lesson? What could be cut out? Changed? What if my students wanted to talk about the news? What if they didn’t? And after a truly fantastic weekend of luxury in New York City, it was ironic that I felt depressed and didn’t know for what I should be thankful.

On my drive home from work, only a few hours later thanks to the continued precipitation, I remembered. I try to say it often; sometimes I even fear that I say it too often. I found a job, right out of college, that is perfect for me. It challenges me, it energizes me, it exhausts me and every night I go to bed wondering about tomorrow. In March, it’s easy to lose sight of how much this work does for me. It connects me to people: students and other teachers and members of my community. It shapes the conversations and the relationships I have with friends and family. It was made for me, and for that, even in March, I am so grateful.

Maybe a quick anecdote from yesterday’s quiz review will give some insight to the non-teachers who might be reading. When one student told the class that he would reduce 7/28 by multiplying 7 and 28, my coteacher asked him why he decided on multiplication. “Ms. Robbins told me to look for the answer with my heart. I went in there and that’s what I had.”

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2 Responses to Thanks

  1. sl0wlybutsurely says:

    I completely agree/have been there — It is so easy to get bogged down sometimes by everything swirling around you- and the squeaky wheels get the grease. It is such an important part of life, though, to stop and focus in on what really matters because there are so many wonderful things going on too.

    I’m glad you found your calling Kate! Everyone sees how important the work you do is 🙂

  2. kdhowe1 says:

    I took a somewhat longer path to find my calling, but I have no doubt now that teaching is it. I need to be around other people to pull me out of myself. The kids do that for me. This post is just as meaningful in August as I struggle to start a new year as it will be in March when I’m tired from the long haul. Teaching truly is a profession where the more you put in, the more you get out.

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