Herding Cats

Every year, it seems Labor Day weekend happens just in the nick of time. I remember thinking this even as a student: like, I truly couldn’t go another full week…even though school had just started. You just go so hard those first couple weeks, and your body and mind crash. 

Last night was Back to School night, so I spent two hours awkwardly talking to parents who I am certain are all now convinced a twelve-year-old teaches their kid calculus. I even dressed up, guys. Can’t win.

When I got home late last night, I insisted we watch something on Netflix before going to bed, because I needed my day to not be all work. 

That may have been a mistake as Jonas awoke at five this morning. 

So I was tiiiiiired when I went back to school today. 

The day started off with my co-teacher and me stopping a fight in second hour Intermediate. 

Thankfully, no fights occurred in calc, but those kids were NUTSO today, too. 

Really, I felt like I was herding cats all day long. 

Game Day Syndrome, I call it. 

{Mental note: test on these days.}

Then I got an email from a past student who reminded me why we do what we do. Truly, these kids never stop teaching me things. In an application for student government at her college, she chose to write about her experience in calculus: “…[Mrs. Peterson] preached that there is one good thing in every day, and that little phrase carried me through senior year. No matter what awful things could happen in a day, I would be alright if I just focused on the good things that did happen. I soon realized that if I could focus on the positive things in my life and not harp on the negative, I would spread positivity to my friends…”

These beginning weeks are hard. I don’t know a single teacher who thinks otherwise. But it’s hard work because it’s important work: we’re trying to teach students our subject matter, sure, but we’re also trying to teach them things like starting a fight is not the answer to your conflict. We’re trying to teach them things like how to use your time wisely (even on game day, Lord have mercy on my soul). We’re trying to teach them things like “every day may not be good, but there’s one good thing in every day.”

It’s hard work. It’s so, so hard. There are so many kids. So. Many. But, my teacher friends, we are doing it: we are surviving. And eventually surviving turns into managing turns into thriving. At least, it has every year up until now, so surely it will this year, too. 

We will make it. 

And, we’ve got a long weekend to rest up!

Happy Labor Day weekend!!

Jonas’s first Union football game (outside the womb, at least)! He actually did really like it, despite that look…


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