Thursday, May 28, 2015

Teaching is a Top 40 Song

I am quite certain Ryan Seacrest has the second coolest job there is. He interviews musicians, produces television shows, and talks for a living. And someone fixes his hair. If I didn’t already have the coolest job there is, I may try and give him a run for his money, but since I was born to be a teacher, he’s safe. For now.
I love music. I love teaching. I love metaphors. So naturally, as I’m listening to Spotify during this freakishly hectic time of the year, I landed on the idea that teaching at the end of the school year is a Top 40 song. Please allow me to demonstrate:

Blank Space by Taylor Swift
SO.MANY.BLANK.SPACES. Fill out this paperwork. Fill out this Google form. Fill out this survey. Fill out these profile cards. Fill in how you have differentiated for your dyslexia kids. Your GT kids. Your kids that have behavior issues. Fill out this 504 paperwork. Fill out this referral. Fill in what you will send in for the luncheon. For the dinner. For the breakfast. For your own child’s party. For the fieldtrip. Fill in the DRA scores. The STAAR scores. Your individualized professional development plan. Your summer address. Fill in an award that uniquely sums up each student in your class with a matching clever candy description. Fill in the report cards. The attendance awards. I’m not sure why this particular picture of Taylor was chosen for Blank Space, but maybe she’s pretending she’s an elementary teacher with four days of school left. “I’ve got a blank space baby, and I’ll write your grades.”

Sugar by Maroon 5
Friends, we’re in full-on panic mode. Break out the sugar. Call your friends chocolate, Jolly Ranchers, Sour Patch kids, sourdough bread, Dr. Pepper, 765 calorie lattes, hamburgers, pizza, and that bouquet of Kit Kats your awesome homeroom mom made you for teacher appreciation week. I would put a picture of it here, but I ate it. Whatever. Desperate times call for desperate measures and you don’t even need to comment about how eating healthy and exercising is the ultimate stress reliever. I know the facts. I wholeheartedly agree with you and the science of physiology. It still won’t make me not text my husband a picture of my crying face with swollen eyes and say, “Bring home Popeyes Chicken and a bottle of moscato if you love me and your children. All of our lives are possibly in danger. It’s hard being a teacher.” Teacher friends, you get this week off. You’re welcome.

Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon
PLEASE stop talking. Yes, it’s for a grade. No, you may not have your Doritos for snack at 8:14am. Yes, you still need to read. No, I’m not sending homework. Yes, you may go to the library. Yes, you may hug your teacher from last year. Yes, you may go the office to call your mom to ask if she brought your lunch. No, I’m not sure why it’s easier for her to bring it to the school every day after she’s already dropped you off. Yes, we are still working. No, we’re not doing anything, “important.” Yes, you may go to the bathroom. No, the test will not be done in partners. Yes, I still want you to turn in your work to the basket labeled, “FINISHED WORK.” I don’t even care if you dance. Just please stop talking.

Lay Me Down by Sam Smith
I need to sleep for two weeks. I can’t because I need to fill in lots of blank spaces. My 38 year old body is still sore from third grade field day and I watched TV with some friends until 10:45 last night and I can barely recover. I’m old and tired. I’m not sure if I’m even forming coherent sentences anymore because I’m pretty sure I’ve fallen asleep at the keyboard. I have a couch in my classroom, but I never sit on it for fear I’ll accidentally fall asleep during specials and I will not be on time to pick up my class. Sam Smith has a beautiful lullaby voice, but I’m pretty sure I could fall asleep to ACDC at this point. Momma tired.

Time of Our Lives by Pitbull, Ne-Yo

My husband has finally figured out the rhythm of my melt-downs. It took years, but when you live with a teacher, you can eventually read the signs and know when to bring home fried chicken and white wine. He understands that even though I may cry on the weekly, I am COMPLETELY in love with this job. There are days that it’s hard, there are times when it’s overwhelming, but as the school year draws to a close and I see the faces of the babies I’ve worked with all year long smiling back at me from the end-of-year slideshow that will make them laugh and their mommas cry, I can honestly say that we have had the time of our lives. We have read books, solved problems, played games, and run races. We have learned kindness, acceptance, the power of hard work, and how twenty one bodies can become a family after spending seven hours a day together in a tiny, little classroom. We know each other’s gifts and struggles, we’ve learned about special talents and insecurities, and I pray each kiddo in my care has had as much fun as I have.
The number one song this week is Earned It, by the Weeknd. (That’s not a typo; I suppose it’s just a hipster, cool way to be awesome. I’m not sure; I’m tired.) I think that’s a fitting way to end the End of Year Teacher Top 40…
Happy summer, teacher friends! You’ve earned it.