Q&A: What makes you feel wonderful? Love, appreciation, curiosity, kindness
Woke up this morning to an intense headache, so I skipped the gym and hopped in the bathtub to relax. With my head still pounding I had some leftover biscuits and got to work early to pass out the Box Tops fundraiser sheets (and got put in charge!!) and be on time for my 10:30 meeting with the principal about the email I sent out.
She shows up to her office ten minutes late and invites me in. I’m excited to have an idea pow-wow and Caleb helped me go over talking points last night, so we can start to make positive changes for the kids and their community. Well, that was all shattered when she changed her tone and said she had two points to make.
First, I will not send out emails to the staff without running them by her — because the teacher hadn’t approved of the cupcakes and thought the parent was a liar but it turns out that the principal allowed them when it goes against the state mandate. She doesn’t want to get called out in front of the staff, but now they know.
Secondly, a kid told their mom that I told them to tie jump ropes together and then said something mean to them when I told them to untie it. We never let the kids tie the jump ropes to their shoelaces, hula hoops, the fence, each other, etc., because then we have to cut them off or throw away the damaged property and everyone loses.
I left her office feeling negative and quickly messaged Caleb in the hallway so I could get back to my duties without affecting the children. We started the third graders outside and were trying to have fun, but two boys were fighting and I was having trouble separating them. Another boy was harassing another one and wouldn’t leave him alone.
So we took them all inside for some quiet self-reflection so that the good kids didn’t have to deal with all the interruptions, but they miss out on the lessons. Growing up this is something I would’ve never realized the teachers went through, and I apologize for it now, but it’s obviously too late, as it will be when these kids realize it too.
I confiscated a few things at lunch today, but wasn’t able to reach the pop-tarts in time. I remember when I used to eat those, but that was my breakfast, not one of my snacks. I released the kids to recess after they helped clean up their tables and got on the highway to drive to the next school, Stephen Hawking, to teach the seventh graders.
We did some Halloween theme exercises, a bunch of jumping jacks, and walking lunges. I thought we’d try a few Fortnite dances, but only some of the boys play the game and were enthusiastic about it. Went inside to build a folder of notes and start on their smart goals before going back outside for kickball. I was the pitcher.
My boss let me know that he’d talk to the principal on my behalf, and for the teachers against the junk food on campus, to find out what our stance should be in the future if she’s all about bulk delivery while we (mostly me) are super passionate about spreading the opposite message and told me to keep up the good work.
I called my dad to let him know that I wasn’t completely fired, but had stepped on toes as I’m wont to do anywhere I go, but that I will follow the chain of command (or leave the principal out of future emails). I will leave the politics to the people in charge and continue to enjoy my days teaching kids how to play.
I shared the news when I got home (no surprises there) and then got to cut up and mash all but five of the avocados we were gifted and have that with dinner. Dessert will be a slice of brie and a cup of mushroom cocoa while Caleb walks the dog. Today was a bit stressful, but that’s mostly the headache talking.
I don’t wake up excited for the paycheck or the principal. I do this for the hugs, smiles, and high fives from the kids when they learn something new, eat all their veggies, or do a random act of kindness. I enjoy inspiring the kids to be curious, be active, and be brave in all things they choose to do. I do this so I can play and learn too.