Thursday, October 1, 2009

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Today's Writer's Workshop prompt: Have you found your bliss? What path did you take to get there?

Fifteen years ago, I gave up one career for another. I ditched the private office, parking space, expense account and expense-account lunches and traded up ~ for a yearly dose of up to 150 sometimes smelly, always loud & quite unpredictable & indefatigable teenagers.

Yes, I'm a high school teacher. I've written about my mid-life career change in this space before. Inspired by my high school journalism teacher, I took on one of the more offbeat & angst-causing of professions. Part Mom, part instructor, part adviser, part mentor, part arbitrator, part confessor, part custodian, part dictator.

Every morning, despite the fact that I'm up to my ears in cherubs who often care much more about feeding their faces at lunch than working hard to make a tight deadline & uptight administrators & often out-of-control parental units, I breathe deeply when I open the door to Room 215. The slightly sour scent of unwashed PE uniforms, moldy carpeting and a lunch that's been sitting on the back table since last Tuesday is a large part of what brings me back, day after day, year after year, halfway thru my 2nd decade.

Best job I've ever had, hands down. And that endorsement comes from a woman who's been around the block, more than once. The kids have energy ~ no matter how sometimes misguided ~ & enthusiasm, no matter how off the charts their inane chatter & random their errors. The journalistas keep me young, even when I'm having trouble keeping them in line.

27 comments:

valentine said...

teach? maybe. high schoolers? definitely not. props to you for being able to not only handle it, but like it.

quilly said...

THAT'S how I feel about teaching. I am always baffled when people say the kids sucked all the energy out of them. The kids are my batteries and I function on their energy! That's why I collapse when they leave. They weren't draining me. They were holding me up!

Vodka Logic said...

I do admire those that can teach. It wouldn't be for me.
Kuddos.
xx

elvira pajarola said...

ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC, I just came to your blog; you visited just now mine and had a cup of italian coffee?.....
I follow you certainly; most interesting then I have two boys of sweet 13 and 9!!!!
bye ciao and see you!!!

Tara R. said...

What a motley crew! I bet you all have a great time on your journalism adventures.

Becky @ Our Sweet Peas said...

Great post. My husband teaches social studies to high schoolers. I don't know how either of you do it :)

Tammy Howard said...

Teaching is really wonderful. (It's the politics of the school system that I could do without...)

Becky said...

Ahh...the smells of high school. Your post brought back memories of those days. You were brave to make that change to high school. If you'd gone to junior high, I'd call you crazy, but high school warrants bravery.

Ashley said...

oh good old high school days I remember that and great teachers like you bring back warm memories !

Susie said...

It must be really rewarding:-)

Life with Kaishon said...

I think that any job with kids keeps you young and makes such a difference : )

S3XinthePantry said...

U r a hero!

Sounds like you made the perfect switch!!!!

Love the picture -teens are great!

kyslp said...

I am so glad that there are people like you who are teaching because they enjoy it. Not because they want a pension and time off in the summer.

I could never be a teacher.

Alicia said...

i love that you have such a love for your job...that's so awesome! your students are so lucky to have you!

Theta Mom said...

I was a teacher for years before I made the decsion to SAH. But, I taught elementary school. High school is a whole other thing! Would love to follow your blog if you follow as well. ;)

The Redhead Riter said...

I think you have a fantastic job. You influence lives...FOREVER. Your efforts are priceless. I for one appreciate you because I know you don't get rich teaching.

blueviolet said...

From the expressions on their faces, my guess is they like you as much as you like them! :)

Nikki said...

Thats awesome that you've found something that you love to do!! and so cool that you're helping these girls to express themselves through writing. When I was younger I had a great teacher who inspired me to write and actually let me know he enjoyed my writing, which meant to so much!!

Joy said...

Kudos to you and your teaching career! I don't think I'd have it in me. ;o)

p.s. Thanks so much for stopping by on my SITS day!

Stephanie Faris said...

Sometimes I wish I'd gone to school to be a teacher...but then I realize it takes a whole lot more patience than I have to work with kids! I don't think I was given that gift.

brainella said...

I am in awe of high school teachers. My semester teaching 11th grade history prompted me to drop my education major my senior year of college. You are a blessed person. :)

dkzody said...

You have an amazing group of kids there. I would love to teach a group that looks like that. They look so smart and energetic.

Shawn said...

So great that you love your job----you will always have respect from teens if they know that you TRULY care and love to be there for them....BRAVO!!

Mom of Three said...

I've said it before, I'll say it again. Those kids are so lucky to have you. You're one of the good ones Mrs Scribe. :-)

Miss Angie said...

That's so awesome! I've often thought I might become a teacher, and I have a best friend who is one. You inspire me!

Miss Jo said...

You've always been great at ditching one job for another. It's so important to be happy in what you do. That was one of the lessons from daddy, who hated sales.

Crystal (Adobe Youth Voices) said...

In relation to teaching high school kids, The Adobe Foundation and The Black Eyed Peas Peapod Foundation recently unveiled a new public service announcement called “Plant Inspiration.” The PSA promotes the launch of Adobe Youth Voices, a non-profit that stresses the power of technology to engage middle- and high school–age youth. Check it out here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQ9WFXs34T8

Crystal (Adobe Youth Voices)

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin