Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Some Grief...Some Joy

Great song.
It was pointed out to me today that I seem to concentrate on the negative when it comes to my job.
There is a great deal of negative, but there is also a plethora of positive.
Everyone I know complains about their job. If work was went to be fun, it would be called super action fun time...but it isn't.
As I left work today, a few of my colleagues explained to me that they read the blog, and one in particular, who I actually trust, pointed out that most of my posts swing toward the negative. She's right.
So I figured I should discuss some of the positive aspects of my work.
Are there negatives? Sure. Every job has them.
So what are the positives? Well, for one, there the students. Each and every one of them brings something interesting to the table. Regardless of how frustrated I get sometimes, I enjoy working with the students. It's the reason I'm a teacher.
It's not the money.
It's not the colleagues.
It's not the actual study of English (though I love the literature we read).
No, it's the students. Today, for example, my fifth hour made me laugh so hard that I had to stop my teaching and laugh. Never really had that happen before in an English class. It was great.
But what about the school and my colleagues?
Yes, I have talked about how there have been problems. Bickering, stupid issues in the building, and more, but through it all there are some things that happen at my building that make me smile.
The members of my department all get along. That sounds like something small, but in reality it's a big deal. Another teacher I know works in the Minneapolis district. In her department in her building, the teachers don't talk to each other. When the department meetings come around, the teachers cordially sit and listen, but there's no warmth among them. They only see each other as other teachers, not colleagues, not humans. I'm not saying I'm best buddies with everyone in my department, but we talk to each other and are aware of our lives. My colleagues have taken an interest in seeing my young son, for example.
Beyond my department, there are people willing to talk to each other about more than just interdisciplinary issues. I may just be an English teacher, but I talk to many of the Science teachers on a daily basis.
Other positives?
There are teachers that care about the students, but they also care about how the other teachers are doing. It's nice to see. For example, the teacher I spoke to today actually gave me constructive criticism about what I have been writing about on the ole blog. She took the time to explain it to me. Most teachers (some of whom have approached me) instead of talking to me in a practical way instead freak out. Most teachers, however, just talk to me about what I've been writing (and thus help create a community which we're supposed to be working toward).
There's a great deal of school spirit. Every Friday most of the teachers wear our school colors to show they love the school (which means we see a great deal of red).
The teachers, for the most part, know the students' names.
These are just some of the different positive aspects of the school I work at. Again, there are bad days and annoying beauracracy, but that happens everywhere.
I like my job. I do. There are just some days that I feel stressed. The next few days (which are teacher conferences in St. Paul) will be nice.
Of course I'm just a new teacher who, "doesn't get it." I could be wrong.


Voix said...

Two very lovable aspects of being a teacher, I agree. There are a lot of annoying parts to teaching. If you don't love the kids, it's an impossible job. Nice post, Leab.

Jason said...

The teacher's lounge phenomenon exists as the photog lounge phenomenon here. When people talk about work, they talk about the bad stuff. Why? It's the interesting part. A good day isn't usually worth talking about. A bad day has drama, bitching, drama. Way more interesting. It's why we don't report on the sun rising. It's only natural that most blogs dwell on the negative.

I figure, if someone is really passionate about the bad parts of their job, the good parts must generally outweigh the bad, otherwise, why do it?

nobody important said...

So much gratuitous niceness.. urgh

Arthur Willoughby said...

Being a teacher is like being a congressman, Leab: If you don't love the kids, it's an impossible job.