Why Bother to Keep A Goin?
Though today is the last day of the 2021-2022 school year, not everyone made it to the finish line. Sadly, not all of the teachers who started the year finished the year. Instead, they resigned for various reasons; burned out, disillusioned, or feeling more defeated than victorious. In other words, the job no longer held the “magic” it once held for them. They quit before the year’s end.
Not a Sissy’s Job
The teaching profession is not for everyone. To keep going until the end of any school year requires perseverance. I was introduced to the rigors of teaching when I first decided to enter the profession. First, there was the college application to fill out to enter the college of my choice. Then, I had to endure a rather intimidating interviewing process. A board of teachers and administrators asked me why I wanted to enter the teaching profession. I don’t remember my answer, but I knew it wasn’t for the love of money.
When I was accepted into the program I was elated. Then I was given a synopsis of the classes. It looked reasonable and I believed I would be able to complete the courses. But the outline failed to prepare me for the doubt and worry I would occasionally feel. Maybe those warnings were written in the fine print that I could not see at the bottom of the page.
Like eating an elephant though, I took one bite at a time. Some of those classes were definitely more difficult to digest than others. For instance, statistics and the history of teaching math seemed banal, but I pushed through them anyway. And though I felt overwhelmed at times, I kept a goin.
As we neared the end of our classes, we were assigned to teach summer school to elementary students, a precursor to our student teaching. This is where the rubber met the road so to speak. Could we actually teach real live people?
I learned that I could, but one of my classmates with whom I’d become good friends with, dropped out of the program at this point. She was a brilliant individual, an A plus student, one who didn’t have to struggle through the academic work like I did. But managing a group of kids in order to actually teach them was beyond her ability. I was sorry to see her go.
In spite of the difficulties and hardships, I kept a goin, graduated, and secured a teaching position. Now, I’ve crossed the finish line nine times by completing nine years of teaching.
I handed out report cards today, hugged and waved goodbye to my students. I was glad I’d kept a goin and so were they.
Why bother to keep a goin? No matter the job we do, crossing the finish line means we didn’t give in to disillusionment or defeat. Instead, we persevered and won.