Ten things I love about my CHS job:
1. My coworkers. I’ve got a serious bunch of kick-ass colleagues. I’m certain that I’d not be as wildly enthusiastic about my job if I didn’t have these people around me every day. The math teacher and the social studies teacher in particular really rock, but they’re all pretty damned great in their own ways.
2. My students. While there are a bunch of them that make me stark-crazy furious (“are you KIDDING me right now?!“), most of them are really great kids. I love it when the light bulbs go on over their little heads…
3. The rest of the students. There are a bunch of kids at CHS who aren’t in my classes, but with whom I have a relationship, anyway. They hang out at my table at lunch, they come to me for SAT help or to ask me to proofread their college essays or to challenge me to a game of Scrabble (to their detriment) – there are a lot of really great kids at this school.
4. The work environment. While I’d love to have, you know, BOOKS, I really do love the environment at CHS. We teach in an old building; the place has a lot of character, it’s sufficiently warm in the winter (once we got that whole no-heat thing worked out, of course) and we’ve got a perfect mix of private and public space. We’re close enough to be cozy, but we’re not up in each other’s stuff all the time; it’s really kind of great.
5. The hours. Yes, I work a lot more than the hours would indicate – every teacher does (don’t even start with me about summer vacations, either). I have a good schedule worked out, though; I drop the girls off at school and head right to work, giving me about a half hour to do copying or grading or whatever, then I teach two back-to-back, hour-and-a-half classes, then it’s lunchtime. I very often stay through the rest of the day (though, technically, my responsibilities end at 11); I get a lot more done if I stay at work than if I come home and start blog-surfing.
6. The administration. Technically, the administration consists of Carrie, my boss and the director of the school. She is the mistress of walking the line between talented professional educator and capital-G-Girlfriend. She’s supportive and no-nonsense, she is fair and even-handed, and she’s funny as hell.
7. The professional freedom. Essentially, I was hired and told to “do what you do.” I don’t have to follow a set curriculum, I don’t have to teach to tests, and I don’t have to justify every single thing I do in the classroom. In fact, I have been tasked with coming up with a whole new English curriculum for next year (I’m still waiting to hear back from those of you who said you’d think about it and get back to me…). While I’m excited at the prospect, I’m also a little intimidated by it, so help a girl out, would you?
8. Location, location, location. I have, no lie, about a six minute commute. It takes me about as long to walk from my car to the top floor of the building where the school is located as it does for me to get from home to the parking lot. LOVE. THAT.
9. Electronic classes. Our goal is to never have a snow day, so we’ve set up virtual classes that we’ll hold when the building is closed. This means that we’ll not be in school until nearly July. I’m totally behind that.
10. I’m getting paid (albeit, not very much, but still) to do something that I would happily do for free. I LOVE the job that I do, and I actually look forward to going to work every day. So few people get to say that, and I know how lucky I am to have found my professional place in the world. Someone once said that, if you find a job you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. That person wasn’t far off the mark…