As I’ve said many times in the past few weeks, I am soon hanging up my teaching hat for full-time motherhood. As I think about the days and months ahead, I find it difficult to understand what my life will be like without teaching. I am obviously really excited and feel so blessed to be making this step, but after a few years in the classroom, I don’t know anything else! I decided to devote a top ten this week to the things I definitely won’t miss next year. Next week’s will be the Top Ten Things I’ll Miss About Teaching because I really do like my job and don’t want to dwell on the negative. Some things just stink though! Here they are:
[For more Top Ten Tuesday fun, head over to see Oh Amanda, by the way.]
- Very very limited bathroom breaks. Does the urge to pee always strike you at scheduled intervals? Of course not! Too bad though. Try leaving a class full of kids to go to the bathroom. Add to this equation that class changes only allow 6 minutes and at my school there is ONE faculty bathroom that services about 25 adult women, and you have a recipe for some serious discomfort.
- I have to get myself, a baby, a packed lunch, and a breast pump out the door at 6:45 everyday to be at school on time. Fun! Bonus: I have two large dogs and a husband who travels a lot.
- GRADING. I don’t think most people really consider the time required to assess assignments for approximately 150 high schoolers. I teach English specifically, so much of that is written work. I am currently looking at 73 essays, 63 portfolios, 30 projects, and 93 final exams before I can turn the page to my new life. Ugh. Here’s my current stack. Just looking at it frightens me.
- Apathetic faces. I look at them every. single. day. I mean I try to mix it up with something interesting that involves student participation, and I usually get rewarded with a few kids who really “get it” and make my job worthwhile, but there’s always that kid in the back who just can’t wipe off the “I hate this” expression, regardless of what song and dance I come up with.
- Insane parents. There are some crazies out there! We all want to be involved in our kids’ education, but is it really necessary to send me a long email asking why your kid has an 89% in my class? While I’m at it, please don’t try to have a serious conference with me in the greeting card aisle at Target on a Sunday afternoon when I’m with my family.
- Being blamed for society’s woes. Apparently everything that’s wrong with America comes back to our public schools and those teachers who don’t do their job. I’ve had to politely leave a cocktail conversation a time or two, and I cannot tolerate certain conservative talk radio hosts for that very reason. I invite Neil Boortz to do my job any day. Let’s see how that goes.
- The breast pump. First let me say that I am really grateful to have a good pump and grateful that solid, hospital-grade pumps are accessible to modern women. Jude is still breastfed, and we’re going strong because of my pump. I am thankful for that. That said, I am SO OVER sitting in a supply closet 3 times a day, washing those pump parts every night, and packing that bag every morning. As Kelle Hampton says, the pump seems to mock me as it rhythmically screams CRA-ZY, CRA-ZY,CRA-ZY,CRA-ZY. There is something so beautiful, fulfilling, and lovely about nursing a baby. There is something so ugly, weird, and mechanical about hooking yourself to two humming plastic cones. Don’t even get me started about the time a MALE COWORKER walked in on me. The horror.
- Buying my own classroom supplies all the time. I should keep a running tally of the money I spend on grading pens, colored paper, markers, poster board, instructional materials, tissues, and hand sanitizer. I’m afraid the number would scare me and lead to heart failure in my husband.
- Spending all day in a windowless room. My school was built about 20 years ago, so most classrooms don’t have windows. Is it raining? Is it snowing? Is it gloriously sunny? Don’t ask me.
- 32 ninth graders in one room at one time. Need I say more?