Saturday, February 11, 2017

Unexpected Joy

It's been a hard couple of weeks for me.
Talent show.
Report cards.
Grad school.
All of this came crashing together to form a very tired, worn out teacher.  Every year, I have time like this (and it's often in February), where I struggle to give my best to students because I feel crushed beneath the endless to-do lists and looming deadlines.  All I want is a chance to rest, for even one day!

I really do love my job.  And I wouldn't trade it for the world.  But it's easy to lose sight of that when I'm in a funk.  I've definitely been living out the adage of "fake it till you make it," and my motto has become "Just keep smiling!"

This past week, construction began on a new wing at my school, which meant new fences and new drop off/pick up routines.  My principal's voice rang through the intercom one morning before school, asking for extra support with morning duty as we establish the new norms.  As tired as I was, I knew that I should go help.  So I grabbed my yellow vest and went outside.

I was stationed where the buses dropped off, near an entrance, so I got to welcome about 300 kids to school that day.  As I saw them hop off the bus and greeted them, a true sense of joy began to blossom.  Their smiles, their shouts of "Hi, Ms. Yeh!" and their excitement to be at school rubbed off on me and lifted my own spirits.  I went on to have the best couple of days I've had in a month, and have felt much more like myself since then.

What's great about schools is that they are full of people.  People who live together, learn together, and influence each other.  The to-do list didn't disappear in this moment, but my focus shifted to the relationships rather than the "stuff".  That's a pearl of wisdom I can hold onto to help me through my next busy, stressful time!

Who knew that 10 minutes of duty could bring such unexpected joy?


  1. I can tell that you put 150% into your work Aubrey. You do amazing things and your students are so lucky to have you as their teacher. I'm glad you got this needed inspiration from your students that day and also from being part of your school "team". That said, I do hope you take care of yourself--many teachers "burnout" which, in the end, isn't any good for students! You inspire me!

  2. So inspiring! I definitely feel the February Funk (cousin of the October Oyyyyy?), and it's tough to get everything done all the time. Sometimes we just need to drop everything, smile, and enjoy the ride. Thanks for reminding me to shut down the computer, and enjoy the relationships.