I had a run in with "big business" on Saturday. Out of the goodness of my heart, I agreed to volunteer at a booth at the Notre Dame game. Part of the proceeds went to a Children's Hospital. When I reported for training, which included running a cash register and figuring out fractions of weight, I indicated that I would feel more comfortable in a support role, perhaps behind the scenes. The trainer, who was also the owner, immediatley replied: "That's great. The world needs more janitors, cotton pickers, busboys and sanitation workers." Seriously? I think I mentioned in there somewhere too that I was a teacher. Now I get that he has a business to run, and its all about the bottom line. But to me, the bottom line are people. If I felt marginalized, I wonder how some of his employees feel? Maybe I should have asked him if he and RIck Snyder were friends? There were other back handed remarks during the course of the afternoon. I wish I had recorded them. In any case, I will not venture that way again. I'll continue to work "behind the scenes" and produce compassionate (hopefully well read) caring young people who will know how to be successful without being judgemental, arrogant and narrow. I supose that is why I will never be rich. My riches are measured in people. Not dollar signs. Incidents like this one remind me over and over again why I am a teacher.
I have been an athlete all my life. I was a competitive swimmer beyond college, and participated in Master's swimming competitions. About three years ago I embarked on a series of Boot Camp trainings. For three days a week, for an hour and a half, I lifted weights, moved tires, did more situps and pushups than i could count. I know how to push myself beyond what I think my body can do. For the last year I have been training for a half marathon. I could have trained for six months and still have done well, but doing well is not acceptable. I want to do my best. I want to exceed the limit. I was interviewed by a local radion station and I told the interviewer that "all of this training has made me a better teacher. I push my students harder, I push myself harder to be the best teacher I can be. I know that much of winning is mental, and that complacency has no record with success. I also learned that I am only letting myself down if I don't give my workouts 100 percent. It is the same with teaching. I teach poorly, the kids dont do well. And conversely, if they dont push themselves, no amount of my coaching and prodding will make them successful. My marathon is next weekend. I know I can push through to finish in less than 3 hours. The school year ends in 20 days. But I'm not done teaching. I'll start again, reading, planning. working things out for the 2011-2012 school year. Excellence does not allow for rest.
I am so not a seamstress. I am home today with Taylor and since I have lesson plans done and papers graded, she and I decided to take on a sewing project. We are doing one of those build a bear home kits. Pretty simple? No...not for a word girl. Seems I sewed the front of the right leg to the back of the left leg. Kind of a funny looking bear. I'll stick to weaving words together, thank you. I can teach my students to cut for clarity, and add a seam or two here or there where their papers are knitted a little loose. Its nice to have a day off, but I'll be glad to get back to the classroom. As for the bear, we'll hand him over to Grandma. I'm good with a pen and words. She's better with the needle and thread.
I love my job. Teaching is an art and I enjoy learning and growing along with my students. I can't think of any thing else I'd rather do.