Snobby Bobby, the amazing counterpart to Miss Melanoma, has posted a blog of late, and I feel a response is in order. He says teachers are insane.
Okay, yes. Yes, teachers are insane. They work insane hours, cry over their job, think about the kids 24/7, seemingly never have a day off, miss out on fun events and sleep and going out and seeing friends because they're trying to figure out ways to reach the kids and fill that notorious achievement gap between the classroom and the test. And by the test I mean THE TEST (as in TAKS).
My job takes a lot out of me, and it takes a lot of me. By that I mean that when I'm working, it's all I'm doing, and I do it 100%. I may not be the best teacher in the world (yet), but you can't say I don't put every bit of me into it.
That being said, keep in mind that work has always been my way of dealing with things. When life is stressful outside of work, I go to work to have something to occupy my hands and my mind so I can think through life with a more positive outlook. I guess it's like working out, but instead of just physical exercise, work requires both the mind and the body. It's always been this way, and I like it this way. There are negatives to it, of course, and one of them was very obvious after my diagnosis: sometimes you just CAN'T work, and when that happens, what do you have to fall back on as a means of dealing with stress?
Or, like I experienced earlier this year: what do you do when your job IS the stress? How do you use work as a stress relief when your work is the cause of it?
I tell people that having melanoma is just a part of who I am.
And being a teacher is part of who I am, too.
The other parts of me are less obvious, but they're still there- like being an animal lover, a big fan of music of all types, a runner (who hasn't run in over a year), a semi-artist, a partner, an activist, a writer, a dreamer, and a daughter.
Teaching, just like being a cancer survivor, is not the way I'd like to define myself, but it is a big part of me. What we have overcome often becomes, in the process, a clearer picture of who we are.
And it has been a challenge balancing work with a real relationship, which, at 31, I'm experiencing for the first time in my life. I love what I do, but, more importantly, I love this life that I've been given, and I don't want to waste another Saturday afternoon doing lesson plans when I could be enjoying the sunshine (with UV protection, of course). And I don't ever want to be in a hospital bed again, thinking of "all of those little lost moments we don't even realize are passing us by."
It's a tough balance, but worth it, and good to think about, I think.
So, for now, I'm heading home for some quality time with the fam.
Have a great weekend.