I have been doing a lot of thinking these last few weeks (as evidenced in my last post) and I have come to the conclusion that I do enjoy teaching 4th grade. My stress is coming from all the paperwork and extra stuff that keeps getting piled on and piled on. Well today not only was that confirmed for me but I had a bit of an epiphany if you will. This morning my students were reading an article about Martin Luther King Jr. and then they had some questions to answer. I was at my desk quickly trying to staple together writing prompts and respond to emails asking for data information and putting together things that needed to be submitted to the office and paperwork paperwork paperwork.
As I am at my desk, one of my students raised his hand and I had to stop what I was doing to go to him and answer his question, I no sooner got back to my desk to finish what I was doing and another raised their hand, this happened like 4 times and as I stood at my desk looking at the pile of paperwork and the unanswered emails and everything else I was trying to get done, I found myself thinking "Good grief if these kids would just leave me alone for a few minutes I could get my work done" and then I heard it, my "God voice", the one I hear really softly in the back of my head when I have been praying and praying for an answer, it's MY voice but I know it's God's way of talking to me so I will listen LOL.
Anyway, after I say to myself "Good grief, if these kids would just leave me alone for a few minutes I could get my work done." I hear my God voice say "THEY ARE YOUR WORK" I stood there for a minute looking at the little faces that I am charged with teaching and thought, that's absolutely right, they are my work. Not the paperwork, not the emails, not the data. This hands in the air asking for help, THEY are my work. I love my job and I am so glad that God spoke to me today.
I have been so conflicted about what to do and now I feel like I know what to do. Focus on my students and the rest will get done when it gets done. I feel like I accomplished so much more today after I decided that I wasn't going to worry about any of the other "stuff" I actually was able to pull a group of students to my back table today during math time and help them with a concept they weren't understanding. I didn't get something else done but you know what, I don't care because what I did get done was much more important, especially to those 5 students who weren't getting it.
I think this is why I found my peace in my earlier teaching years, I didn't let things like paperwork cloud my head. Moving from Kindergarten to 4th grade has certainly been an adventure of paperwork and data but teaching is teaching and that's what I know how to do. I know how to teach and its what I'm good at. I may not be the best when it comes to the paperwork but that's OK, paperwork isn't my job, TEACHING is my job.
Now I am off to play Wii with my son and eat another Red Velvet Coke Zero cupcake with cream cheese frosting (only 5 WW Points Plus) and sleeping in tomorrow - NO SCHOOL!