Mandates and the Pursuit of Happiness

From a teacher who is also a mom…

Most days, I would really like to just sit on the floor in my family room with my children and play games and read books all day long.  But, I know that I must cook dinner, clean the house, fill out paperwork for school fieldtrips, etc.; and, so I force myself away from the Candy Land games and head to the kitchen.  And while it is not my favorite aspect of parenting, I know that the completion of the chores will bring accomplishment, quality time, and teaching opportunities for my children. 

When I review all three backpacks hanging in the mudroom every afternoon, I know that the information I find there will help me know my children better and understand where they are academically and socially.  And so, with a focused attitude, I press on through the mundane that leads to the eventual joy. 

When I was in the classroom, I loved sitting with the children, reading and playing with them to teach them life’s wonders in enjoyable ways.  I often shared my excitement about the subject and expressed that exhilaration with my students. Each day’s lessons were followed by questions that would in turn spark new ideas and concepts. 

Coming up with great lesson plans, discovering new approaches to teaching, using cutting-edge technology, even making new pumpkin labels for centers to bring autumn into the classroom always brought a smile to my face.  In addition to the exciting things in the classroom, I also knew that the filigreed leaf cut-outs at some point had to be put down so that the desk work would be accomplished. 

And while the work of reviewing portfolios, writing up IEP’s and checking off RTI lists may be tedious, I knew that the knowledge I gained helped me know my students better and I was able to understand where they fared academically and socially.  The data collected ensured that I was able to meet each student’s needs through their learning style.  This preparation led to the success of my students…and their success was what my job was all about in the classroom.


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