Three Handed Soapbox

AKA Thoughts on Teaching.

On one hand, it’s like any other job.  You get a paycheck every two weeks.  You get vacation time.  You deal with paperwork.  You deal with nice people and mean people.  You get weekends off.

On the other hand, it can be exhausting and traumatic.  You deal with the governor of your state claiming that “We do not have one good school system in the state.” You deal with several weeks of high-stakes testing that turn kids into walking zombies.  You deal with a new student who is homeless, living in a hotel room with 6 other people, kept awake at night by the TV and those other people, and in the sixth or seventh school district in two years; therefore he tells a teacher “like my mom bleeping cares!”  You deal with too-large classes, too-long workdays, and too-hyperactive children.

On the third hand . . . it’s that mutant “third hand” that keeps you going.  It includes things like:

  • A mildly autistic student announcing “I’m here!” with a huge smile when he walks into the library in the morning.
  • A student telling you to have a good Christmas vacation — on August 21.
  • Being told that Emerald is a good chef so it’s good that you have one of his books
  • Watching a very short child “stalk” the animals in your jungle rug with his pretend rifle when he doesn’t realize you are watching.
  • Finding a paper in a library book that says “Square root of 5 = 2.2360679  Ha Ha!!” [Ha ha?]
  • Telling the students to be nice to the librarian because she controls the information and having a student pipe up with “bwah-wha-wha” evil laughter to reinforce the concept.
  • Finding just the right book for just the right kid at just the right time.
  • Seeing the fourth grade classes watching you enthralled as you introduce them to the concept of how surnames began and got their meanings.
  • Meeting your students around town and being told things like:  “I know where you live.  You live in the house with the fake poison ivy.”  [That would be real ivy, Hunter, not fake or poisonous.  See picture below.]
  • Being told “You’re the best librarian in the world.”

october-18-0031

It’s not just a job, it’s an adventure.

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