Thoughts the week before Christmas/Winter vacation

I work at a high school in my town. I’m not a teacher but a teaching assistant. We are 8 school days away from winter/Christmas break and I’m counting the minutes.

I love my job 95% of the time. It is challenging and rewarding. I connect with kids easily and am often greeting with “Hi Rose” as I walk the halls between classes. (For those of you wondering why students call me by my first name, I learned many years ago that calling someone Mr. or Mrs. does not necessarily convey respect.)

The 5% of my job that I don’t enjoy is usually spread throughout the year in small doses here and there. Sometimes it is a particularly challenging student I work with. Sometimes a colleague. Sometimes the politics involved in working in the education system.

This year, though, something is different. I could attribute it to many things….politics, curriculum changes, kids and their entitlement, and the list goes on.

Perhaps it’s me. I wrote in a previous piece about trying to show love to the students I am given and not who I want them to be. That is harder this year. As the semester rolls on it is becoming harder to love those difficult kids. Maybe there are more of them than usual in the classes I attend. Maybe I am becoming more impatient as I get older. Maybe I just can’t figure out when 50% became good enough and they became entitled to talk however they want and do whatever they want.

Yet, talking to my colleagues, it is not just me. We are all feeling the difference this year. And it is not just in our school but in others in many other districts as well. We are all feeling unbalanced and tired. Some of us are struggling….how do we give more when we are already giving it everything we have?

So, I am counting the minutes until Christmas break. Minutes until I do not have to set the alarm. Counting down to freedom from other people’s children. Minutes remaining until I can relax and recharge my batteries giving me time to regain my patience.

Please don’t think is intended to be a “oh those poor teachers” post. It is just a place for me to write down my thoughts at the end of another long day as I count down the minutes until Christmas break.

I will be fine….I always bounce back…but today the minutes are dragging.

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