Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mental Goodness

Just 4 weeks into the school year, and I am taking a day off tomorrow.  Mental Goodness Day.  My plan was to climb outside, but with 60% chance of precipitation, I am rained out.  Too bad.  So now it'll be a Boulders day, which is just as well.

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.

1 comment:

  1. As a parent of kids who went to public schools around here, I am sad to hear you perceive disdain, disappointment from the public. I think my kids got a really good education thanks to hard working, dedicated teachers and staff. You are the best of the best, Vera -- We've been friends a long time. I know how well you do your job. When it comes to teachers I don't know, I assume the best and believe many of them are really good, and a few are outstanding! I'd add that anyone who judges schools to be lacking ought to get in there and volunteer. I did that too, giving what I could give of my talents to other kids besides my own.