I am not old. In fact I am still 22 days from my 30s (but that is for a different post). But I was raised in a completely different world.
When I first started teaching middle school, in 2004, I got an email from my principal with statistics about our incoming 6th graders. It said that this group of kids had never lived in a world without cable tv, the internet, or cell phones. Well, I haven’t either. I grew up in the same time-generation-whatever you call it as my students.
However, I feel like I am living in a whole different world. I will admit I had a pretty comfortable upbringing. I am pretty fortunate. My parents love each other and are still married. I always had clothes that fit and were clean (but that is because my mom taught me how to do the laundry – again, for another post). My dad packed me a lunch everyday and my mom fixed dinner every night (simple but good). We went on vacation every summer (nothing extravagant just to the lake). My parents taught me to work hard and held me accountable while rewarding my success (not in a material way – yet another post). I always knew that I was loved and would be taken care of.
This year I am really struggling with this – coming from such a different place than my students. Here education is secondary. Survival is a priority. Learning how to fight seems to be more important than learning how to multiply.
I know I am supposed to be a teacher.
I am pretty sure I am supposed to be a middle school math teacher.
I thought I was supposed to teach at-risk kids.
Now I am not so sure. Maybe moving to a small town will be different.
Will there be poverty? No doubt.
Will there be drugs and violence? Hubs would be unemployed if there weren’t.
Will it be different? Probably not.
Am I ready to move? Today, the answer is yes.
Tomorrow, things will be different. Tomorrow, I will feel like I am making a difference.
Oh,wait… tomorrow is Friday.
Things are always better on Friday.
And if they aren’t better, there’s always happy hour a BS.
Do you ever question if you are in the right place/job? How do you renew your passion? How do you know you are making a difference? If you don’t know, why do you stay?