When I was younger, most people I knew (at least my age) were all in school. We went to school every day, we had vacations when most other school people did, and we never thought much about what else we could be doing because when you are a kid, you just go to school, that's what you do.
Now that I am an adult, the people I know have a lot more choices over how they spend their days. But this has brought about something new... the constant comparisons of my job to yours. Who has it harder? Who is paid what they should be? Who has more/better vacation time? Who has better hours? A few weeks ago Eric's family was over and in a room of just a few people- his dad wanted our vacation time, his brother wanted his dad's flex hours and Eric and I wanted a day where we could just shut the door to our office an send some personal e-mails :)
I love my job, I really do. Not every day, not even every week, but overall I love it. I love that moment when a child realizes he or she can *really* read. I love that moment when my kids clap because I just read them the best book or played a game they love. I love that moment when a parent tells me their child loves school. I love that moment about a month into school when I realize all the kids have made new friends already. I love that moment when kids have their first kindergarten play date and they can hardly focus all day they are so excited about it. I love that moment when I find or get a really great idea for a lesson and it really, really works. I love that I have a job where I get scheduled vacations after what I consider to be a reasonable amount of time. I love that I have a job where I can switch jobs in the summer to get a change of scenery. I love that I have a job with solid benefits, medical insurance, a retirement plan etc. I love that I have a secure job. There is even more I love.
Even still, there are things that sometimes I wish I could have...
I wish I didn't have to be "on" every minute at work. I wish I could make phone calls and get things done during "down time." I wish I could have flex time (aka work longer for 4 days to have the 5th off). I wish I could come in an hour late if I had a dentist appointment, or take a day off sick without getting out of bed to write multiple pages of plans. I wish I got paid like people do in the business world. I know they work more days than me, but even if you add to my salary for the summer months, I still would never make as much- even with 6 years of experience and a Master's degree.
You know what though? Who doesn't want to get paid more? Who doesn't want to work less or have an even more flexible schedule? Are there really people out there who feel like they don't work really hard at work? (I'm sure there are, but I don't know them).
Teachers get a lot of crap for various myths people have about our jobs. We "play" with kids all day. We have way too much time off. We are home at 3 every day. Eric, in particular, takes the brunt of many of the teacher jokes. He often hears "wait so, you get paid to play dodgeball all day in mesh shorts?" What is Eric's response to these clueless individuals (often teachers themselves!)?
You could've been a PE teacher too.
Oh yeah... we could've! I could've gone into business to make more money. I could leave my job right now for a job where I could read blogs all day. I could quit my job tomorrow and travel the world, living in hostels and taking on odd-jobs just to pay for my housing and food. I *could* do what I want, assuming I am willing to make the sacrifices to do it. But I'm not. And so... please take my complaints with a grain of salt as I will take yours. Sure, I will always have to pay absolutely absurd air fare to fly anywhere on school vacations week. But you know what? The grass is always greener on the other side. No one has the perfect job. If that job was out there, we would all do it.
So today, I will appreciate those kiddos in all their Christmas excitement glory. Well, make that tomorrow because today I'm home sick with a terrible cough. Haha. What do you appreciate about YOUR job?