Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Been Thinking About......

Been Thinking About…..

I didn’t have to go to work after class today, so I figured I’d better mow my lawn before I had to pay the local farmers to bale it.  The formidable task with a push mower on a two acre lot allowed for a significant amount of thought time while I made the monotonous trek back and forth across the yard to the continuous whine of the mower.

I started thinking about how much professional development I participate in year round, despite seeing retirement on the near horizon.  So why do I feel the need to continually pursue educational classes in my career?  Do I want to be informed, stay abreast current issues or do I just want to be the best teacher I can be?

What other career field has continuous changes taking place in its scope?  I considered the medical field would be a close contender.  But then I thought of all the different ‘hats’ teachers must wear and the accountability they have to all those ‘hat’ areas:  abuse, poverty, addiction, bullying, harassment, assault, active shooters, social-emotional distress, depression, suicide, academic integrity, plagiarism, meeting competencies and common core standards - all in addition to their job description.  What other profession outside of education wears so many hats?  Social workers?  Certainly not engineers.

I have witnessed over the course of my career, many occupational hazards. There was a smashed out window at ground level in my classroom my first year teaching in a rural schoolhouse in Appalachia.  When the nights became cold, I had to bang on the radiators with a stick in the morning to check for any copperhead snakes who may have sought a warm place to spend the night.  Now, with the advent of 1:1 technology in the classroom, I need to be concerned about eye strain and too much screen time.  I wonder if districts will mandate maximum school day screen time?

Been thinking about ‘time boundaries’….. Why have I never been able to just work the contracted hours I am paid for as a teacher?  I chuckle inside my ‘thought bubble’ when I hear friends in other professions complain of 50+ hour work weeks.  Yet, they earn two and three times my salary, and never have “homework”.  So what possesses me to get to school an hour or more early and often stay until after the dinner hour?  When my children were young, I would bring them to all their after school activities, make dinner and then after they went to bed (they always had early bedtimes), return to school to “finish up” something because I couldn’t sleep unless I knew it was done!!! 
Is this all about caring too much?

Been thinking about what other profession does so much for the sake of kids?


  1. Lynn, what a beautiful reflection on teaching and the demands of the classroom. You're an inspiration in your desire to always learn more and question -- for your students and your classmates at UNH.

  2. Eegads, Lynn. You still mow your lawn with a push mower!? No wonder you look so good! Srsly, I don't think we care too much, we just want to be the best we can be and be thorough. I am guilty of spending that much time at school, too. I have a friend that used to give me a hard time for making so much money and having 3 weeks vacation and summers off!! I challenged him to do what I do for the amount of money I make. He declined! Keep plugging away!

  3. As teachers, we don't live under the same rules as other "mortals." I've had people tell me that I'm so lucky to "have the summer off." When I gave them a list of what I do for school during the summer, I received a very humble "oh" in return!