In the Balances

Things I Miss About Teaching High School

  • Seeing my students everyday. I taught the same group of students for two years, and this is their senior year–I’m sad I miss out on that. Those kids really did become my babies.
  • Having my own classroom. I didn’t think I would really miss this much at all, but being stuck in a basement room with florescent light and no windows makes me appreciate the freedom I had to give my classroom some personality. I also miss
  • More time to chat – I miss getting to really know my students. When you meet just two or three times a week, every minute counts, and there’s not as much time to just talk.
  • Seeing my teacher friends at lunch. Y’all, some days I just lived for lunch because I knew Kim, Dan, and Julie would make my crappy day six times better.

Things I Do NOT Miss

  • Parents, as more of an abstract concept than anyone in particular. Some parents were truly wonderful to me, and I will remember those folks the rest of my life. But I appreciate that in college teaching, the grade is between the student and me. In fact, it’s illegal for me to discuss grades with a parent unless the student has given formal, legal permission. This eliminates SO much stress.
  • Administrative foolishness. I’ll leave it at that.
  • The highly structured routine. I go kind of nuts when every day is the same. I have just as much work to do, but I can do it on my own time. I am so much more motivated when I manage my own schedule, instead of knowing I have to sit at that desk until the clock hits a certain number.
  • 7:40 arrival time.

I have done a lot of complaining the last two years. Eventually I realized that even though my job wasn’t an ideal situation in many ways, I was choosing to fill my life with negativity. I also took away so many wonderful friendships and experiences from that job; overall, I’m incredibly grateful for that time.

I decided to approach my doctoral program differently. I chose this. I get to teach, take classes, research and write. Those are three of my favorite things ever. Why complain?

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