Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Do you love your job?

So, tonight as I browsed my facebook feed, I ran across my good friend Sam's blog post about loving your job... It got me to thinking, how much do I love my job? 
Most days, I love it completely... Getting to play P.E., read kids books, have snack, play out in the sunshine are all things I look forward to daily. However, what I look forward to MORE is watching my students learn... Seeing the progression of skills as they learn letter names and sounds, blend them into words, the begin to read connected text. I jump for joy (sometimes literally) as they recall things taught many months ago... I become ecstatic when they ask to practice addition facts rather than have a few minutes of free time... 
Other days, my job is a bit harder... More than 50% of the class not listening, running around the room, trying everything they can think of to get me angry... Teaching something but feeling like I'm talking to a wall and trying to brainstorm how to come at it from a different angle in order to reach them...
There are times I look at the clock and try to figure out how the heck the whole day (and sometimes evening) have gone by without me realizing it... And other days that the hours just drag on.
This doesn't hardly touch the WHY part of my love for my job... I think it could simply be broken down to 3 things... 1. My students who are so eager to learn, 2. The challenge of doing the best I can even when I don't feel like doing anything, and 3. The exciting opportunities to learn FROM my kids every day.
Sam posted in his blog his results to this little quiz... I'm going to share mine as well. :)
1. You don’t talk about other people; you talk about the cool things other people are doing.
I love talking to others about what they're doing!! There is soooooo much to be learned from my peers! 
2. You think, “I hope I get to…” instead of, “I hope I don’t have to…”
Ha, I'm constantly looking for new exciting ways to do things, opportunities to become a better teacher, chances to work with different kids through different sports, after school programs, etc.
3. You see your internal and external customers not as people to satisfy but simply as people.
I don't understand what internal and external customers means... So I can't vote on this one.
4. You enjoy your time at work.
How can you not love it when you're sitting criss-cross applesauce reading books with 15 munchkins or playing basketball with them?
5. You would recommend working at your company to your best friend…
I do try to recruit teacher friends all the time to join me!
6. You enjoy attending meetings.
Hmm... Some meetings I do. However, it seems as if most of the meetings lately have been centered around complaints and frustrations about how things are going rather than ideas for how we can change things... Minus half point
7. You don’t think about surviving. You think about winning.
You don't worry much about losing your job. You're more worried about not achieving your potential. Not being as impactful as you can.<--I think thats a good summary of how I feel... 
8. You see your manager as a person you work with, not for.
I'm not sure... I haven't always felt the respect from my Instructional Leader, nor have I felt the support I've asked for... I'm gonna say no on this one. Minus a point
9. You don’t want to let your coworkers down.
I think I care less about letting the other teachers down and more about not letting my classified staff down. I think there are too many teachers out here using Bush Alaska schools as a stepping stone to get to somewhere bigger and better that they don't always care. BUT our classified staff members are rooted in this community (Much like I hope to someday be) and as teachers come and go, they're the stability that keeps the school running.
In all reality, at the beginning of each and everyday, my goal is to not let my students down.
10. You hardly ever look at the clock.
This is so not true--but only because the clock tells me when to move to the next lesson, when to go to lunch, when to let the kids have a bathroom break, etc. However, after 3:30 when my kids are home, I don't often look at the clock. In the spring time, if I'm not out riding my snow machine, it can be 6 or 7 in the evening before I realize it... I also beat everyone to school (most days), getting there between 6:30 and 7 when contract time isn't until 8.
11. You view success in terms of fulfillment and gratification – not just promotions and money.
I hate that teachers get paid so much better here in the bush than they do elsewhere, especially the lower 48. I think that teachers should love their job and continue to live somewhere BECAUSE they love it, not because they've created a lifestyle that they can't support on a salary anywhere else. 
I can honestly say that I could make half or a quarter of what I make now, and I would still love to do my job in AUK.
12. You leave work with items on your to-do list you’re excited about tackling tomorrow.
Hmm... I feel like my to-do list never gets smaller, and I don't think the continuous "grade papers, clean classroom" tasks are ever things I'm super excited about... Minus a point
13. You help without thinking.
Absolutely. Ask my coworkers.
14. You don’t think about retirement… because retirement sounds boring…
…and a lot less fulfilling. ... and I'll probably end up teaching until I die. :)
How many of the above statements apply to you and your job?
Total it up and you end up with 11.5...... Not too shabby for a job thats 2 days flying away from all my family, eh? :)
If you said:
0-3: You may want to find a new job. Life is too short.
4-6: You don't hate your job... but you don't love it either. What can you do differently?
7-10: You really enjoy your job and the people you work with
11-14: You are deeply, madly in love with your job! (and your friends are jealous!)

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