Editor's note: This post is a little strange, going from serious topics to attempts at being humorous. I'll indicate tone shifts in parenthesis so you can keep up with my randomness and know what kind of face you should be making as you read this.
I'm at home in my big fluffy chair with a blanket and a Frappuccino, and everything finally feels ok. I've been battling a sinus infection and the antibiotics have left me feeling a bit spacey and tired. I just can't seem to find my normal life rhythm.
I know it sounds funny, but I've been working really hard at trying to enjoy my job. I realized that when you ask anyone how work is going, you're usually met with groaning at best or a flying object directed at your head at worst. So I was going to be intentional about being happy about working. It started out ok, albeit a little fake. I was like, "Woohoo, I'm making some lesson plans...lo-ove my lesson plans," while doing a little jig in my chair. It got a little better when I would try to get the kids involved. That's the cool thing about elementary school; if you tell them you think it's fun/cool/really interesting, they're usually on board with you for the first 10 mintues or so. I only got a little discouraged when my lesson was over, and one of them said, "So when are we gonna do the fun part?" Brat. (shift to serious, concerned face)
But it got a lot harder later in the week. Bad things kept happening to my students; to be intentionally vague, they were dealing with problems like death, incarceration of family members, and abuse. And that's just this week! Although it did put my minor problems like a sinus infection in perspective, it really drained me emotionally. (relax the furrowed eyebrows here as we shift back to light-heartedness)
When I get emotionally tired, strange things start to happen. I can handle big news like "Hey that University you went to was a complete sham, and you're going to have to work weekends to try to re-earn your teaching certificate," with quiet stoicism, but a stumble in the hallway or cross look from the cafeteria lady can send me into a crying fit that lasts a full 15 minutes. It's bizarre.
So today when my conference got cancelled and my kids had to stay in the room with me, I was on the borderline of throwing things through the window. Then we decided we'd make the best of it. We made door decorations encouraging ourselves for the up-coming TAKS test. They wanted to put flowers and spring-timey things up with messages like, "We'll breeze through the TAKS" or "We read to succeed on the TAKS test." Pretty clever, I thought. Then one student brought up a sign that she'd made saying, "The TAKS test blows Mrs. H's class away." I looked at it for a second, then asked, "Did you mean, Mrs. H's class blows the TAKS test away"? She looked confused for a bit and then said "Oh, yeah! Whoops!" We both doubled over with laughter. That's the good thing about being emotionally drained. The slightest thing can make me cry, but something just as small makes me laugh till my belly aches!