This morning I had a bad reaction to some medicine I took. I barely remember getting to school, except that I was had to concentrate very hard to keep my car steady. “I can do this, I’ll be fine,” I told myself as I got out of my car and wobbled into school. Finally in my classroom, I collapsed into my chair. It was so hard to focus. My muscles felt so weak. “Nope, I was wrong. I will not be fine.” With some effort, I got down the hall to find another teacher. She leapt up to help me back to my room, asking if I needed someone to drive me home (“No, my mom is coming to get me”), and reassuring me that it was okay for me to leave and take care of myself. Another teacher came in and reassured me as well. A third came in, helped me pack up my stuff, and then talked to the main office to tell them I was leaving. She made sure I got to my car okay, and gave me her number to call if I needed something before my mom got there. I found out later that another teacher jumped in to cover my classes.
Being a teacher is hard. Being a teacher at a Tier One school is even harder. Yesterday I jumped in and held back two students who had started a fistfight during my class. But you know what? I love my job. And even more, I love the people I get to work with.
When I interviewed for my job, I spoke with the principal, the assistant-principal, and the veteran 6th grade ELA teacher. We hit off right away. After the interview, the other ELA teacher gave me a tour of the school and then bid me farewell with a hug and a “I hope you say yes!” I drove home, and then immediately called and accepted the job.
Every Friday we wear school shirts to show pride and support. The first week of school one of my co-workers brought in a school shirt I could borrow so that I could join in on the school spirit until I was able to buy my own shirt. Whenever I have a question, my co-workers are happy to help. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, my co-workers are happy to commiserate. Every step of the way I know I have people who have my back.
I have always had a hard time taking sick days. In 10th grade I went to school with the flu because I insisted that “it can’t really be that bad.” It was, in fact, that bad. Taking a sick day as a teacher is hard. Lesson plans have to be prepped, substitutes have to be found, and you spend the whole time wondering how it’s going. I’m so thankful that my co-workers insisted I go home today and not worry about it because they would handle everything.
Today was not a good day for me, but all I could think about was how lucky I am to work with such amazing people.