Sunday, October 14, 2012

Reclaiming Optimism

This school year I have become so sadly disenchanted with the educational system.

And that is saying something for someone who is as passionate and dedicated to the profession as I am.  This blog is a testament to the happiness, love and blessings I feel everyday when I walk into my classroom to see the energetic, welcoming smiles of my students.

I am a teacher.

I am an educator.

It has always been my destiny and it is my bliss.  Why, oh, why then am I feeling beat up lately by the disrespect heaped upon those in my profession?  Have my rose-colored glasses slipped a bit?  Am I just more aware of the manifestations of insolence that were always around me?

Who knows?  But in a society that seeks to find fault with teachers (and if none can be found they'll make something up) it is difficult to keep smiling.  In the jungle a zebra can never really relax.

But, today in church I decided to reclaim my optimism and focus only on what I can control and nurture.  And that is the day-to-day learning and interactions with the students entrusted to my care. Today I am reminded to keep my eyes on the joy.

It's the only thing that lasts and in the end it's the only thing that matters.


Angella said...

yes. oh yes.

i am so sorry "the system" is making you feel beat up, but I am happy you can refocus on what truly matters, the great gift you bring into your classroom each day--you.

One foot in front of the other, friend. Those little ones need one such as you.


Gary said...

Thanks Angella. I honestly feel as though writing this post has allowed me to put it behind me. I have been trying to ignore the bad stuff but sometimes it must be acknowledged before it can be put in its place.

I appreciate you kind words.


Steve Reed said...

I think you've reached the best possible conclusion! All you can do is find joy and satisfaction in what you do each day, and not get bogged down in frustrations about the system as a whole. (Believe me, in journalism I had plenty of days like that!)

I love this line: "In the jungle a zebra can never really relax." I've never heard that!

Steve Reed said...

Although, p.s., I think technically zebras don't live in the jungle. :)

Gary said...

Steve - I kept thinking about the line from Valley of the Dolls when I wrote the zebra line. Remember, "At night all cats are grey"? I thought the zebra/jungle line was like that - interesting and a bit...huh?

Anyway, here I am awake at 5:00 and ready to tackle another day with a smile. As Reya says, "Onwards and upwards".

Pauline said...

The "system" defeats a lot of us, though not for long, and never for always. Our discontent is how the system gets changed. The best way to fight back is to do your best. That way you always have a leg to stand on. And Angella is right, those little kids need you. Making them your focus is the best thing you can do, for them and for you!

Gary said...

Thanks Pauline. I think that you are right. It is passing. I am focusing on doing the best work I can do and trying to dodge the attacks on the public education. It helps that I have a sympathetic, attentive principal and a dedicated coteacher. Inhale, exhale. Focus. Repeat.


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