My Security Blanket
It’s like a security blanket…I know that I’m not going to look in it but just knowing that it is there makes me feel more confident, more professional. It’s weight increases every week but I continue to stare at it. I say things like, “It’s the weekend, I’ll get it done on Monday.” Then Monday comes and I think to myself, “I have nothing to do this weekend, I’ll spend all day Saturday working on it.” Then Saturday comes and goes and the cycle begins again. The white elephant in the room, the sciatic nerve pain that always returns, the one, the only…my school bag.
I want to be a good teacher, I want to be an amazing educator. I begin my days with the best of intentions. I research and formulate all of these ideas and strategies to improve their writing skills and to stimulate in-class conversation. I want them to conceptualize their learning and move beyond the basic formulaic application of information…I want them to discover their education! I want them to love it, to live it, to dream of the information and wake up with the desire to learn more. I spend hours upon hours lesson planning, creating activities out of cut up pieces of information and charts, graphs and photos, to inspire learning. I design projects that take weeks to complete; they’re purposeful and complex, thought provoking and insightful. There are deadlines and expectations, standards and formulas. I collect these assignments with purpose…I feel accomplished when every student hands them in on time without any “mommy” excuses. I remind them that excuses are for children and they are young men and women on the brink of adulthood and I demand more from them. All of the instruction, the guidance, the preparation, the final success of the submission…and then I rubber band the piles of paper, put them in my school bag, and carry them back and forth.
I make excuses as to why they are not graded yet. I have some personal issues I’m dealing with, but I’m almost done. I left them in the classroom, but I will be finished with them by the weekend. I have been busy preparing for the holidays, but I’ll fly through them over the vacation. These are lies I tell my students; these are lies I tell myself. The reality is I don’t even cook on Christmas Eve and everybody brings a dish on Christmas Day. The only real responsibility I have is to cook a rib roast to the perfect medium-rare and this year I really dropped the ball on that one (SIDE-NOTE: my roast was the perfect well-done; I’m sure my family was happy that they waited around for that dried out piece of sh*t). I make excuse after excuse as to why I haven’t graded anything yet and then when I’m finally ready, I’m finally focused…my loving husband sets up Netflix on my living room television (thank you PlayStation 4) and I rationalize that I have worked really hard these past few months and I deserve a break.
I’ll get them done by next weekend…