Yesterday was my first day back to school for the fall semester. Although it was a long day, it really didn’t feel like my first day back. I honestly feel like I have not had a break since the summer semester ended at the beginning of August.
One of my favorite things to do is plan. Yep. You read that correctly. I plan out lessons, writing assignments, readings, and hope that it works (meaning I hope that I don’t have to fly by the seat of my pants).
I didn’t feel prepared yesterday. I left the house annoyed (weather, headache, worry, ugh). I arrived in my first class and the room was not ready, so I was moved to another room. There were a few technical issues, and I was slightly more annoyed with that.
While I was going over the syllabus, I had a moment of real life. As students were writing down information, getting out planners, I realized, you can’t always be prepared for what life throws at you.
Sure, there were some minor issues yesterday morning, but when I got home with an exhausted body and sore feet (wearing cute shoes on the first day was a MISTAKE), I realized I’m very lucky and I’m very thankful for my job.
So, what do I do?
I teach writing. I work at our local community college and I love it. The chaos of the first day of classes was so great. Students were helping other students, asking for directions, chatting before and after classes, talking to their instructors, asking about office hours.
I saw smiles that were once nervous faces in my classrooms. I heard students ask other students about their schedules and classes. It was great—the communication was amazing.
I realized that after a rough start to a morning, my why is much more powerful than some technical difficulty in the classroom.
My passion for teaching runs deep, and is stronger than some “bad first day.”
Students still make me smile, scratch my head and wonder “what in the world?” and still give me all the nervous feelings on the first day.
I was reminded of a video that was shared with me (and my colleagues) when I attended our faculty orientation a few years ago. I still get goosebumps. I still love hearing this.
We often forget our purpose. We feel bogged down in our jobs. We hate the hustle and bustle of life. Maybe you have a co-worker that you can’t find anything in common with and maybe you struggle with your boss. Jobs can be challenging. We forget why we do what we do.
For a brief moment, I forgot why I love teaching. I forgot that I was nervous about the first day. Forgot that I needed an icebreaker for students, forgot that I love being in the classroom.
When you know your why your purpose becomes clear and shines through.
I just wanna teach with the passion that this man sings with (so now you have to watch the video to know what I’m talking about).
FYI. I love Amazing Grace.