I'm feeling pretty lucky as far as my job goes these days. This is really great given that this school year got off to a less than favorable start. I've learned a lot from it, though, like how there are some things that can change, others that probably won't, and some that never will. As a result, I'm trying to focus mostly on what can be helped and not waste too much time, effort, or emotional energy on the things that aren't going to budge. Although I probably can't change the way an institution works or change some of the decisions the higher-ups might make, I can fix/control my attitude and the things I teach my students-- the whole reason I'm there in the first place, right?
In one of my classes we're learning how to find theme in all sorts of things-- poems, short stories, movies, essays, and lectures. I tried to choose pieces that had a theme dealing with Carpe Diem ("To Virgins: To Make Much of Time," The Last Lecture, The Dead Poet's Society, "Contents of a Dead Man's Pocket" just to name a few). I can't helped but be amazed at what some of my kiddos are taking away from these pieces. Watching my kids not only learn an important skill but also think about what Carpe Diem is and looks like for them reminds me of why I choose to do this job. It's not about tardy policies, legislation that is setting us up to fail, or the paycheck that barely gets me by. It's about helping my kiddos learn to think and chase after their dreams. It's pretty exciting to be a part of that.