The push and pull of teaching

sols_6Today, Friday, as I walk away from school excited for the weekend. I realize we really only have about 60 some days of the academic school year left.  WOW!   The side of me that can barely stay awake on the way home is excited –  sleep, writing, walks and real lunch that lasts more than just 12 minutes.  YES!

The other side realizes that my high poverty students are just now beginning to understand what it means to do school.   They wrote again today, they, for the most part, could leave their writing notebook to go measure, water and record the changes in the their pea seeds and return to writing.  They read alone or in small groups – they are beginning to show real interest in books.   They are on the edge of becoming real fourth or fifth graders.

BUT it is almost mid March those 60 some days are looming large in my head.   Even less days until our state testing will begin.  I need, I want six more month.  I think then we might be a bit more ready for the state testing,  We would have covered many of the standards we have not reached due to still learning how to do school.  Darn!

I know many will go to summer school, there is next year, they will continue to learn but each year they return to this state of not knowing how to do school and need to re build that muscle.   A new teacher, a new room or new school – they start again.

The pull of wanting to keep them close and continue to teach them this summer, to have them return to my room next year ( looping with them) to continue what we started is very strong.

The push of wanting to walk away in June to rest, read and work on my own writing project lingers in the back of my soul.   I can and may retire this year.  There is a struggle within.    The desire to teach and continue to move these students forward and the personal side that would really like to finish, to re work the three children’s books sitting in draft form on my office.  The need to slow down my life and reflect.

It is the push and pull of teaching.

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About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
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2 Responses to The push and pull of teaching

  1. Laura Komos says:

    I think your post captures what so many of us feel! The “oh-there’s-60-days-till-summer” and the “oh-there’s=60-days-till-summer” dread. The seesaw of wanting more time with our students and more time for ourselves. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. Wilcox Carol says:

    I agree with Laura- you have definitely captured that push and pull feeling. We start state tests next week, and I’m feeling like many of our second language learners have worked so hard, and made so much progress, and are still not ready. And like you, I want to do summer school with them, and then, on the other hand, I want time to work on my own projects. Teaching truly is an all-consuming job!

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