Tomorrow is my first day back since 2003. Crazy, right? What’s surprised me the most this last week is how much I’VE changed since then. It seems like an easy “of course you’ve changed–you’ve had four kids!” kind of moment, but it’s fascinating to see the changes against a standard. Yes I’ve changed, but let’s look at how I changed in this very specific area: teaching.

I’m approaching teaching like a neurotic, type-A person. I’ve NEVER been that person….right?

So my classroom management is ready. I’ve got my plans, my horrifically nuanced (borderline embarrassing) procedure for entering the classroom, and a vague idea of what I’ll do over the next week.

And I’m READY. I’m ready to see these kids (who are the same ages as MY KIDS). Good Lord what a difference that makes. I’m SO READY to see these kids. I’m so ready to be their teacher.

You know what else I’m so ready for? THE END OF THE MICROMANAGING.

Yup, the negative had to come in. 😉 OH MY GOSH I have to learn how to censor myself. I’m used to running at the mouth whenever the need arises, so when I’m frustrated (to the point of fury) by MICROMANAGING B.S., I need to learn how to bite my tongue (perhaps literally).

I left the building today (the day before our first kid-filled day) almost in tears in pure, hell-borne FURY. I was kept there until 4:30, knowing traffic was building up, just to prove a point. I almost cried on the way home because I was so DAMN ANGRY at the administrators.

I actually thought to myself: “is my husband able to get family insurance? Because I may get fired for running at the mouth tomorrow.”

The micromanaging and legalism of education today has BLOWN MY MIND. It robs me of the passion I have for reaching these kids. Or perhaps, in the long run, it fuels me to give administration the finger and educate and love these kids just to spite their rules. I can’t plan lessons because I have to make sure Bloom’s Taxonomy is proudly displayed on my wall. Ffffffffff………

***So anyway, I got in my car and got stuck in 4:30-6:00 traffic in New Jersey, flipping off every single car I saw (hey, it’s Jersey), and feeling the tears SO CLOSE FOR 90 minutes of traffic and self-doubt. ***

(breathe, girl)

I got home, DRANK TWO GLASSES OF WINE, and vented to my brilliant school-leadership-inspirer (it’s a word) husband, took a cleansing shower (I had to wash off both the day and the cockroach I inadvertently stepped on at 7:30 this morning IN MY CLASSROOM), and came out feeling like “Yup. I’m F***ING READY.”

I’m in education because I want kids to have an anchor. I want kids to have music for those times in their lives when they feel they have nothing else. What else can I possibly contribute that means more than that??

ALL THIS TO MAKE THIS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT POINT: I realized tonight that there is no day bad enough in education that a few glasses of wine and a shower can’t help. Are there exceptions to that rule? Of course. But chances are (and God willing), I’ll never see those horrific days.

I had an aggravating day. Massively aggravating. But I took a step back, away from the minutiae, away from the legalism, away from the micromanaging, and remembered WHY I’m doing this.

I’m not doing this for administrators who need to cover their a**es. I’m not even doing this for my own job. Go ahead and fire me. I’m not here for you. I’m here to give kids an anchor.

I’m going in tomorrow, my first day in almost 15 YEARS, and I’m going to SEE THOSE KIDS. I’m going to see them like my own kids. And as God as my witness, those kids are going to learn music. They’re going to have an anchor. That’s what I was hired for, and THAT IS MY JOB.

(insert giant middle finger to legalism/micromanaging here)

4 thoughts on “Deep Breaths, Girl

  1. You go, Carrie! It is harder than ever to be a teacher with all the B.S. involved. But I thank goodness everyday for teachers like you – my kids are fortunate enough to have had many of them. And while some days I’m sure it won’t feel like it, please know that parents like me are so thankful for you. Best of luck, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes!!!!
    Flip those non-human legalisms (and their authors) the bird …. see the eyes and heats of those beautiful children and teach them to listen, hear the music in their souls and play their music with passion…. the passion they’ll learn from you. Brava!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, my, jumping the wake when skiing is scary. You are leaving what you can follow…the boat, without having to do much except hold on, and stand up. But, jumping the wake, once you summon the will to just get over that big set of waves, is so lovely and free! It lets you take a little more control over your ride.

    Jumping the wake in life is also scary, and filled with frustrations, exhaustion, and moments of panic (“What was I THINKING?!”). You are right in the middle of those big waves, Carolyn. But you’re strong enough to jump them. Your whole life has prepared you, not just for the easy, but for the difficult. Look off to the side, just for a moment. That glassy, beautiful water is going to hold you up as you fly. And soon you will feel yourself taking a little more control over your ride.


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