It seems like everyone always has two ideas about teachers. There are people who are teachers, are married to teachers, or use to be teachers. These people know what it is like to try and do a decent job during the day to day grind of running a classroom. They know how difficult it is to have almost no free time. Then there are people who think they know how hard it is to be a teacher, and express their condolences, however, go on acting like teaching is no big deal.
This week I get to go back to teaching my wonderful fourth grade class. I really do love what I do and am really looking forward to going back. However, I’m finding it harder then ever to drag my feet and actually get to work. In Brazil, teachers aren’t allowed to work in the month of January, so we get a month long break. While this sounds great, it also means we don’t get out of school until the very end of June. I think the extra long break makes it much more difficult to get back into the swing of teaching. I enjoy the opportunity to travel but it is very difficult to try to go back and remember where you were in all of your subjects. I know it is going to be difficult for my students when they go back as well.
Another reason that I think going back to teaching this semester seems extra difficult is what is going on with politics back home. It’s not a secret that I’m no fan of the new Trump administration, and I find it frustrating that I can’t be helping with community activism and protesting what I believe to be unjust actions by the current administration. As someone who lives in a foreign country, I couldn’t imagine having all of my documentation correct before I left only to find out that the rules had changed while I was in the air. It’s frightening to me that they decided to at first ban green card holders and individuals with permanent residency in the United States. It reminds me that I need to count the blessings I have and not take my life in Brazil for granted.
Tomorrow is my last day of freedom before the next semester starts. It is going to be difficult but I know I can do it. My goals this semester are to be better about grading and giving feedback to my students. As a teacher sometimes it feels like your choice is to either grade things on time, or to grade things with helpful feedback. I’m going to hate it but we are going to try to once and for all not fall behind. Lets see how it goes….