Note: I’ve written and rewritten this post countless times. I’ve never hit button to publish, until now. Things at work this year have felt like I’ve been getting pelted with snowballs filled with chunks of ice at times. It sucks (well sucks isn’t the work I usually use…) but the things that suck are not related to my kids. I’ve recently found myself on many occasions looking at other schools to teach at. The jobs are there, plenty of them. But I stay. Day after day I come back, I don’t leave. It’s a complicated thing, and I sort through my feeling on a regular basis. Our school has been labeled as “complex, and often I feel like I should wear the same label. Recently after a rough week, I sat in a coworkers room after school and we just vented. I asked him what does he really want to do, if he wasn’t teaching what’s next? I ask myself the same thing sometimes, and I don’t know the answer. There isn’t something that feels more right.
Growing up in the Catholic church we frequently discussed different vocations, and constantly the word called being associated with vocations. As I entered high school the conversation about our calling was frequent. Quite a few young men we went to high school with were called to priesthood, one a Brother and a few young ladies called to be Sisters. I'll be honest I never felt called to married life. I am madly in love with Paul, and I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him and I always wanted to have babies, lots of babies. But this is a different feeling...
It took me being on maternity leave, and away from my students and job to hear it. It was finally in the quiet of late night feedings, that I heard it. The silence of midday baby snuggles. The gut wrenching noise of the news. The beautiful big eyes of my son, that I came to hear it.
I am called. I am called to return to the “trenches” of teaching - to the kids that need me like my own son. Everyone in town has a stereotype of the school I work at, it carries a stigma that had made people actually ask…
"do you feel safe?"
"wouldn't you rather be here or there?"
But the truth is these kids, my kids, are 99.9% amazing, with a few who have made bad decisions and tainted our community's view. And you know that 0.01%, they need us the most. I think I have talked about this before, but last year one kid asked my "why are you here?" as in why am I at this school when I could be anywhere else. It is in working there that I have become an immensely better person. I went there to learn to be a better teacher, but I have taken away so much more.
At this point I have so much more love to give, so I’m going to keep on giving it.