The Top Ten That Wasn’t

I was going to write a final Top Ten.

Because I am putting Top Ten Tuesday on hiatus.

I wanted it to be awesome.

But instead?  I had a bad day.

I went into today with the attitude that I was not going to have a bad Monday.  But Monday slowly wore me down.

First, my students wore me down with their teenageness.  It’s March just before Spring Break.  It is just the beginning of the most difficult time of the school year to keep kids engaged.

But this is expected.  So I tackled it.  It wore on me; it tired me out;  it definitely weakened me,  but it did not take me down.

Then, after school, I had a horribly depressing union meeting.  The outlook for education, educators, and any union member or elected local government employee looks grim in Michigan.  I don’t want to get all political here…you can look it up for yourself.

I just don’t understand.

Of course I don’t agree with screwing our students, but right now?  I am thinking about ME.

I did everything “right”.

I followed the textbook on “how I should live my life”.

I was a good student who stayed out of trouble in high school.  I went to college right out of high school with a major in mind.  I worked toward that major without ever changing it and graduated in the recommended number of years.

I worked hard for two years substitute teaching before finally landing my first teaching job.

I got my Master’s degree in my field.

I paid off loans.

I got married and then had a baby.

I was involved with extracurricular activities to show my school and my students that I loved and believe in them.  That I enjoyed my job.

I worked hard at every. single. task I was ever given…even when it wasn’t my first choice.

I endured three+ years of layoffs and budget cuts switching to teaching in my minor.

I even did that with gusto because I love my students.  I love teaching.  And I was so grateful to have a job.

And now?  after all of that?  The government is threatening AGAIN to take it all away.  This time by the hand of someone who just wants to be able to say he crumbled the unions in Michigan.  Not because that would help our budget crisis, but because he can.

If I do keep my job, they are talking about thousands…THOUSANDS of dollars in pay cuts.  No extra money for higher degrees.

And if I complain about this?  Society tells me I am selfish and not thinking of the kids.

If I side with the union and say I would strike to protest?  I risk losing my job and am told I am nothing but a selfish jerk.

If I don’t side with the union, I break our unity.  I show the government that they can roll over us and do what they want.

And all this because at 18 years old, I said I wanted to make a difference.  I wanted to BE somebody TO somebody.  I wanted to teach the way I was taught.

I was told that I should go to college, get a degree, to do it right and I would find security.

I tell my students to go to college, get a degree, and they will also find security.

I was lied to.

And I am lying.

Anyway…pile on come technical difficulties elsewhere, and my day went from me feeling like loving on myself a bit here, to me not  knowing if I was coming or going.

So instead of an awesome Top Ten?

I will tell you this one thing I love about myself: I am a survivor.

When I got home today full of tears and snot, Cort held my face and said, “We will get through this babe.”

and I replied, “I know.  The only other option is to NOT get through it.  And that is not really an option, right?”

Right.

We will survive.  We have before.

It just sucks.

So cheer me up.  Since I can’t come up with a list for me right now, tell me what you love about YOU.  I want to know.  What are the best things about you?

And go ahead and link up if you’ve written a post.  I want to go and celebrate you today.

Oh and?  Tomorrow we will get happy again…I have FOUR giveaways coming to thank YOU for being so awesome to me!

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About Katie

Just a small town girl…wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. I made Hamantaschen. I’m a hell of a baker. I mean, I have other qualities, but today, that’s what I’m proud of.

    I hope the outlook improves. The whole situation, where you are, everywhere, just makes me sad. Sad for you, sad for our kids, just sad.

  2. I’m so sorry you’ve had a crapola day. Teachers don’t get the praise, or pay, or anything they deserve…only what they don’t deserve. I could never do what you do, and you are my hero.

    What do I love about myself? Hmmm…I love that I can draw pirates for my son that he is impressed with, and he’s pretty picky about his pirate drawings!

  3. What I love about me is the same thing I love about you, Katie, idealism. I see the world as it is and i see how it could be. Like you, I work towards it.

  4. I will have more to say later, but I love you. That is all.

  5. I think Im a good parent to these three girls. I’m getting to be a good husband to my wife aka The Bobina. I know a lot about music. Feel free to ask me anything about a band or songwriter, except Pearl Jam, that’s Charlie’s territory. I am really good at grilling; hamburgers, steak, chicken, shrimp. I know way too much about the NY Jets. I can break down their running game, pass defense, and knw the strengths and weaknesses of every player. Mostly, I write a lot. Some of it’s good, some of it;s not. But it;s all here:

    http://lance-myblogcanbeatupyourblog.blogspot.com

    I hope you have a better Tuesday. I had a bad day too, so I wrote some.

  6. I found myself sighing and getting angry and every other emotion because as an educator, as a woman, as a voter I have felt so very attacked. I know exactly what you’re talking about and it just plain sucks.

    But it may be more managable tomorrow. I hope it is for us all.

  7. Okay, you know what I love about me? I love about me the same things I love about you. I became a teacher because I wanted to make a difference. Because I, too, wanted to BE somebody TO somebody, and come Hell or high water or Nathan Deal himself, I AM FACKING DOING THAT EVERY SINGLE DAY.

    And so are you.

    Because we DON’T quit. Could I quit and go back into the financial industry? Yes. Probably. Could you quit and go into another field? It’s likely.

    But we don’t quit because we are survivors.

    And I love you and I’m sorry I got all soapbox-y in your comments.

  8. Trisha V. says:

    Awe.. job stress SUCKS! I love that through your writing I realize I am a survivor also. We have BEEN THERE… no more out of county money, what are we going to do?, extra behavioral money taken away, what are we going to do?, it’s awful and no fun and scary! But Cort is so so right, you are awesome especially together and you WILL figure this out!

  9. Today, I love myself because despite everything, I was able to keep up with the house, cook dinner, and have fun with my baby. Laura and I had a lot of fun today, even though we had a day together because her eyes were covered in green goop. Even though my daughter was sick as heck, we had fun together.

  10. This is such a hard and gut-wrenching situation. The Education Field, in my opinion, is under-staffed, underpaid and majorly under-appreciated. I hate that you are dealing with this, and I hate that both our students AND our teachers are suffering because our government wants to cut budgets in one of the most important areas of life. I’ll be praying for you and your situation. Hopefully, things come to a head and work out soon!!

  11. It breaks my heart that you are going through this, Katie.
    One thing that I love about me is that I am loyal and true.
    I am here for you…I love you, Katie.
    Lean on me…I will not falter.

  12. so sorry about the work stress, it sucks so bad.

    I love about myself. Hm, I know! I love that I finally have gotten back into running. Honestly, I can tell that the adrenaline rush does help my mood tons.

  13. Now I know the reason for the tone and content of your tweets yesterday. I am so sorry. I can empathize with you. It was one year ago that I felt this EXACT same way (for slightly different reasons, though still related to my teaching career). The Thursday before spring break last year I called in sick to school (wasn’t sick) and made the snap decision to leave teaching next year, move, and pursue music instead.

    I AM NOT IMPLYING YOU SHOULD LEAVE TEACHING.

    That’s too personal of a decision with many factors involved. It was right for me to leave and it was the right time to leave.

    So when you ask what we’re good at or are proud of, I guess I’m proud that I had the balls to leave a job of 21 years, give up what I used to love, give up regular and somewhat large paychecks, move away to a new city and hope that my music career took off before I ran out of money.

    It’s been hard but I don’t regret what I did and I’m not going back.

    Good luck with getting to spring break and then to the end of the year. I hope your legislature doesn’t vote to screw younover.

  14. So sorry you have to deal with this. I’m not a teacher, but many that are close to me teach and I can’t believe the hell teachers are put through these days! I actually went back to be a teacher, but picked the wrong time b/c NJ is not great for teachers right now either. Just wanted to let you know, I admire what you do and hang in there. Hope everything works out.

    I love that I somehow made it to work with a migraine, because I knew I couldn’t stay home today.

  15. I’m sorry that you’re going through this. Teachers are so important and they don’t get all that they deserve (money, recognition, etc).

    What do I love about me? My ability to care for and do things for the ones I love. Forgive me if that’s cheesy. The coffee hasn’t fully kicked in yet.

  16. You ARE a survivor. You will get through it! Hang in there. Sending you a big, virtual hug from sunny Florida. Also I linked up a vlog I recorded about what I love about myself. Enjoy…

  17. I’m also in Michigan, doing everything right, and falling further and further behind. This is an abysmal mess and I cannot understand how teachers, TEACHERS!, are being vilified right now. Except I can, because we need a handy scapegoat and there you are.

    So, things I love about me? That I have awesome curly hair and can write and read and cross stitch really, really foul words to look fancy and that I’m still putting one foot in front of the other.

    You are awesome, too!

  18. ((((((())))))) I feel you. I am on my third year out of college without a full time job and it breaks my heart to know what I could be doing but am not. So I suck it up and go substitute, get shoved at 7 months pregnant by a student, get called horrible names and go back at it every day because it was what I always wanted to do. I worry every day about the fact that I soon need at least so many credits towards a master’s that I don’t even think is worth getting since I can’t even get a job. And then I hear over and over again about how horrible and selfish my profession is. I laugh when they talk about the health care costs being equal to private citizens. Because we under my husband’s insurance sure as heck don’t pay 20 percent of our healthcare costs. Do I think there are places for fixes? Yes. Do I think disolving unions and taking away money from students is the way to fix it? No. I am not a huge fan of unions protecting shiiity teachers but I am not a fan of someone who doesn’t know jack shit about education to try to tell people what to do either.

  19. Oh Kate, how I hear you. Living in Wisconsin, we’ve been stuck in that same nightmare for the past few weeks, as I’m sure you’re well aware. My heart breaks all over again every time I turn on the TV. I’m sorry that this absolute insanity is happening there too :o(

  20. I used to sit on our School Site Council (you know, because I didn’t just TEACH, I was club advisor, class sponsor, active in trying to make our campus a better place…)

    and I had to step down because it made me cry. Every week. I’d come home after hearing what the parents and community believed about us, about teachers. And it was too damn depressing.

    I know some teachers are shitty. Yep. There are shitty people in every line of work. And unfortunately, because it is difficult for administrators who once were teachers to go through the steps to discipline/mentor/and yes – even release (fire) terrible teachers, the general population believes the untruth that “tenure” means a job for life no matter what.

    It so doesn’t.

    Sorry. I didn’t mean for my comment to become this. Especially since you were looking for a new day today. I just wanted you to know that I get everything you wrote in this post. I think you have to be a teacher to completely understand.

    What you do for your students is extraordinary. And that is what you have to remind yourself. No matter what. You. Teach.

  21. Ugh, this SUCKS. I come from a family of educators. My dad is a teacher-turned-principal-turned-superintendant. My sister is a 4th grade teacher. My ex father in law is a 3rd grade teacher. My ex husband is a high school teacher. My two best friends teach middle school. ALL are in California. I have been surrounded by education for my whole life. (I on the other-hand, veered away from it. Scary stuff, the California State Education system) The budget cuts, the unions, everything. It’s such a disgusting mess. I’m so sorry you have to deal with it!!! My sympathies to you. I’m looking for a great way to end this with positive advice and encouragement…but am having a problem finding any. 🙁 So, I’ll end abruptly and weirdly instead. Sigh.

    http://www.6degreeslove.com

  22. I’m surviving PPD/A.
    Everyday I’m better.
    Your words help.
    You ARE making a difference.

  23. Ah hun I don’t know how to cheer you up, have you seen that laughing baby video on you tube? That’s pretty cheerful!
    I am thinking good thoughts for you.

  24. this makes me so mad! i wish america valued its teachers more. this is so much of the reason we are hesitant and downright scared to return to the US. isn’t that sad?

    you are a survivor. you are a champion. don’t give up my friend!

  25. Oh, that is incredible.

    I am so sorry.

  26. I’m so sorry. Of course, you’ll hang in there and continue teaching with gusto because it sounds like that’s the kind of person that you are, but I know how much all of this affects teachers. Until I became a SAHM 9 months ago, I was a teacher, and I was laid off when I was 8.5 months pregnant from an inner city school system that was having the same battles you described in your post. It’s demoralizing, unfair, exhausting, and just plain wrong. I’m sorry you’re going through this! It SUCKS!

  27. Gah, that’s just SO not good. I’m sorry about this. Really sorry, for so many reasons…

    I have really good hair and a beautiful family! And Spring is here!

    And your birthday is around the corner!! YAY! 😀

  28. Since we’re focusing on the good…it’s warm out and the replacement part we’ve been waiting for in order to have hot water again, arrived.

    Does that help at all? 🙂

  29. okay… something I love about myself today: I am GOOOOOD under pressure 🙂 at 3:20pm I was asked to try to get the big boss a flight out at 5pm instead of in the morning as scheduled because of this Winter Storm Warning – I had his flight changed and his hotel booked within 15 minutes. HOORAY. also – I love that I have my dad’s metabolism… because I just ate some ice cream, am eating some cake, and still have a frosted sugar cookie to eat – mmmm!! 🙂

    also – I’m sorry for everything you’re dealing with and going through… I have quite a few friends and family members who are teachers, and I’m really hoping and praying that something happens to make things right again, and to stop all the wrong that seems to be coming down the line…

    *HUGS*

  30. My favorite thing about me is that I have the strongest, most beautiful, most amazing best friend in the world. Wait, that’s more about…well, sorry I tried. Love!

    • I love you. I wish I was going to be in Chicago this weekend so we could do last year all over again. You made my whole year with that weekend, you know. I miss you.

  31. i hate talking about myself…

    um, i don’t like much about me right now. i mean, i’m good at my job. ummm… i’m getting back to my training… and hoping to compete again soon!

  32. TheNextMartha says:

    I love the fact that I can eat a Roll of Rolo’s and look in the mirror and say “Yep, I’d hit that too” I also love the fact that when someone asked me what kind of mood I was in I said “I’m in a “I’m gonna kill some mthr effer voles kind of mood, oh wait, did you want me to just say “good?” I love the way I reply to others when I’ve had a glass of wine. Now that is something to see. Hmm. There is so much. I wish strength for you and your family. Hugs.

  33. Do I need to kick someone in the taco?
    I’d do it for you. I hear about the state of michigan’s education system and it is so sad.
    Know that I am always always here for you and just remember when you want to cry think of my face and then a taco. You’ll thank me later 😉
    Love you
    PS. I love that I removed a pair of poopie underwear off of Chunky without smearing it everywhere and without getting it on my hands. Boom. Let’s see Martha Stewart do that.

    • OMG! Everything about this comment made my soul smile! You…a taco…ninja poo pants removal. You are like the Chuck Norris of awesome friends!