It's not that I'm burned out, or tired, or need a break from work or a break from the students. In fact, I am still on a roll looking forward to every day I get to work with two of my closest friends. Those two - Ms.Matson and Ms. Jorgensen, still make my teaching days dynamic and special. We are down to 50 eleven-year-olds now, which doesn't mean anything with a class of 50 anyway. And you would think that after our field trip on Friday, I would need a day off, but as I said earlier, I don't. I'm taking a preventive day off to maintain my Mental Goodness.
The field trip I referenced was a trip to the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the Science Festival in the amazing Discovery Building - a state of the art building in every way. It was well-organized with engaging activities and I know our students had a good time there. But a field trip on the Metro with 50 students (split between two buses), is just hard on everyone. Kids in mobs on a city bus just don't seem to have the manners to ride in public - at least not yet. I told my friend, James Mills, about the trip and with an expression of both respect and incredulity, he said, "I can't even fathom that - I really can't. And I appreciate you for doing that. I mean that sincerely." He did mean it, and in the midst of receiving that public appreciation, I actually felt important.
As part of the teaching profession, I feel the disdain and disappointment and judgement from the public. It's a difficult thing to feel, especially when there is such good teaching and strong students coming out of our classrooms all the time. It can be a hard thing to repel, so in consideration of the profession I love, and in the spirit of student learning, I firmly support days off to build up capacity for continued Mental Goodness.
I'll be doing what I love - this time climbing indoors, and hopefully next month, climbing outdoors.