Let me start by saying I am passionate about my job. I love my students with my whole heart and come to work every day hoping to prepare them for their futures. This does not just mean academics to me. Quite honestly- academics come second in my book (shh... that’s between us). My goal is to help create well rounded children whose hearts and minds are prepared to learn. I believe strongly that this must happen before actual learning can occur. 

So now that you know I am a teacher who works tirelessly, who loves her job, and who comes eager to greet 22 smiling faces each morning, I bet I know what you are expecting. You're expecting to read a blog covered in primary colors, Pinterest perfect lessons and daily gushes over those sweet 22 faces that sit perfectly in their desk, completely engaged in every lesson or activity I give. ERRRRRRR- wrong. THAT IS NOT MY REALITY! 

Let me repeat: 
Not. My. Reality. 

Many days it feels like I am the ring leader of a 12 ringed circus. Crying, screaming, arguing, making deals, and moving clips. It all happens. Jackets lost, papers misplaced, unsharpened pencils, and lessons run long. It all happens. 

Many days, it is anything but pretty in room thirty-nine. But I am here to say that is OKAY! Many days I am on my knees praying that an administrator doesn't walk through my door to see the catastrophe that is my class. Many days I am amazed that a parent hasn't called to complain about the lack of graded papers being sent home (Where are those papers you may ask? They are sitting in the back of my car UNGRADED. The exact same place they have sat for the past 3 weeks). 

Right now, as August is approaching, I am pumped and ready to go. In between the occasional back to school nightmares, I fantasize about the amazing teacher I will be this year. Picture me standing in the front of the room, 20 pounds lighter (This is a fantasy remember), smiling as I kill an engaging hands on activity where all of the kids use their math manipulatives to actually do math- not to sword fight or build a tower. I fantasize about how organized I am going to be this year. How I will ALWAYS be prepared for my lessons and my behavior management is going to be on point. Ahhh, pre-August is just dreamy. Shockingly, it never lasts...

Now, in the January slump I have found myself longing to be an accountant. What I wouldn't give to sit at a desk silently and work. No pressure to be creative or put on a show. You won’t catch me dead saying that in July, but January-Ms. Markussen thinks that some days being an accountant sounds just peachy. When people hear teachers complain about teaching they always seem to go to the kids. "Oh kids these day! There is no parenting! They are wild and get away with so much more than I did when I was a kid..." 
While some of this may be true,  the reason I, and maybe some of y'all, struggle with this career is not the kids. 

It’s the extra- more importantly the extra I put upon myself that wears me down into the ground. In this new age of Instagram and blogging one can get lost in the never ending stream of amazing educators in the world. Every lesson is bright and cheery, filled with hands on games and activities. Of course these lessons come with pictures of students working perfectly by themselves. The blogger/teacher adds a nice little caption about how well everything went and blah… blah…. blah…
I know. I’m sounding pretty cynical right now. I go into reading blogs with all the right intentions. I want to be better. Push myself. Learn from my peers. The first few blogs I read I am pumped with adrenaline and ready to get going. Completely filled with admiration I keep reading. Then, the jealousy sets in. HOW IN THE WORLD IS THIS CLASSROOM LIFE POSSIBLE?! Jealousy quickly turns into a bit of anger which then ends with me picking them apart, in true teenage girl fashion. “Surely they don’t have a life or family”. Shoot, I don’t have a life or family. “Well surely they don’t have (insert sweet-little-nugget-child-who-is-turning-me-gray here) in their class. I bet they also don’t have (Insert sweet-little-nugget-child-who-is-oh-so-not-ready-for-grade-level here) in their class”. Yeah... my list goes on...

As a chronic overachiever when I see all of these amazing lessons and ideas I want to do them. Do them all, and do them perfectly. I want to juggle all 20 balls and make it look easy. I want to be the best part of every teacher I admire, and then push it a little further. Time and time again, I am shocked when all 20 of those balls come crashing down. And when they crash I am DONE. It's all or nothing. I want to be perfect, and if I can't be perfect and do it all like them, then I'm not going to do it at all. Why can't I live a life that looks like their highlight real? Well HELLO, it's not possible! It's not possible for me, and quite frankly its not possible for them. It is a highlight real. While I am sitting here chasing their highlight real, I am throwing away the talents and gifts that I have been given. What a shame. 

So here I am- writing this as the first step to stop my long string of bad habits. There is no point in comparing myself to everyone I admire. This isn't an all or nothing. I can come into this job that I love every day, give it my all, and still be human. I can be a great teacher and make a lot of mistakes. I can do a fantastic lesson without a beautiful staged picture opportunity. I can use and appreciate great ideas from fellow educators and make it work for me. I can be confident in my skills and still have a student that gives me a hard time. I am here to say that I love my job, I love my kids, I put everything into teaching, and probably spend way too many hours at work- however it is far from perfect. And that is okay. 

So welcome to my stories, my truth: the good the bad and everything in between. 

Side note: I apologize to all accountants. I am sure your job is also extremely difficult. 

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  1. This is beautiful. And so completely true. I am right there with you, trying to chase the success of others in this crazy teacher-preneur life! And with no family or life I am literally right there with you. Even before this post, you inspired me. Thanks Kori!

    1. That just made my night! Thank you Katherine!!! We are in it together.

  2. I've quite literally said the same things to myself, especially the accountant bit. I wish we could see more of the struggles, not just the highlights.


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