“I figured it out, but it took about one and a half hours to finish,” read the note written by the attendance coordinator. I had spoken to her a few days ago, when she told me that she would make corrections to the first marking period grades for my classes. I was embarrassed that my rookie mistake took so much of her time. But, as a first year teacher, I also found it justifiable for me to blame the school for not providing enough instruction or guidance for new teachers.
As I have realized early on, the blame game becomes a part of the teaching job. But before teachers can point fingers, other people start taking the blame on you during the job. The other day, when I called a parent made it clear to me that she rather be notified that her son was not turning in homework over her son being disrespectful to me in class. I guess it could be worse, and she could not care about her child not doing work at all, like some other parents. So on days when you receive too much verbal vomit from both a group of unruly middle school students and their parents, you start to reconsider why you chose the profession to begin with.
Therefore, all the long hours I logged in for each week started to take a toll on my health. Fortunately, a sick day cleared my head from cynical thoughts about my job and refreshed my mind. I began to realize that I sometimes get so caught up in frustration that I overlook the people who helped me survive my first year in the real world.
Not many people have family, friends, and colleagues who take the time to be supportive, but I am lucky to have a strong network. My mentors and other colleagues at school build my confidence and strength to keep coming back to work. My roommate and boyfriend listen to me vent during stressful days. My family and friends from home visit me and give me the chance to think outside of my job.
Long days at work do not seem as bad when you take the time to count down until the next upcoming holiday and visualize a break of kicking back and indulging in platefuls of homemade food. But perhaps I need to take that extra time out of my break and appreciate and give thanks to people who have given me the support I needed.
I challenge others to thank some people during this upcoming Thanksgiving and holiday. Too often, we want to be appreciated rather than taking the time out to appreciate others. To start with, I plan on dropping a “Thank You” card to the school attendance coordinator on Monday morning.
Read more about Emily at her MyAsiance page my.asiancemagazine.com/emmyp7