Ok it’s 2 am. Can’t sleep. Too much caffeine. Seriously. Never imagined that would happen. Well that and I’m on an air mattress that makes a funky sound when I move. Anyway I’m laying here looking through apps on my phone. So I opened Instagram. I know there is a huge controversy over Instagram right now, but since I posted my first picture there 112 weeks ago (Halloween 2010!) I have been addicted. It’s so much more than square sepia pictures, it’s this whole social media aspect that goes with it. So back to my point (too much caffeine remember), many of my current and former students & cheerleaders follow me there. I’m ok with that, I don’t say anything or post anything there that would offend. Also, in my district I am not allowed to have contact with kids via social media (that’s an entire different blog post I won’t write as long as they sign my checks) but Instagram doesn’t allow you to send private message so this is a way I can connect to them (and learn a lot about them). I let them follow me and often if they are no longer students at my school I follow back.
So I was looking through my stream and saw some pictures of former cheerleaders. They made me laugh. I started thinking about the girls I had on that squad. There were some really cool & sweet girls the 2 years I had them. But you see I did not take the time I should have getting to know them. Not because I’m evil or hate kids but because it was a really rough 2 years coaching. Not all the girls that year were sweet and not all the parents were as supportive as the parents of those kids. Lets just put it this way, by my choice, I no longer coach. I was miserable and hurt. So to protect myself I shut the emotional & fun part of that job off. I went through the motions. I taught, then I went home.
This year I’ve been having similar issues in the classroom. Some situations are becoming too much. So I’ve discovered (like recently discovered, as in just now) that I’m starting to do that again. But not just with 10 cheerleaders, with my 160 students. That is not fair. Not to them. Not to me (I think about the fun I missed shutting the girls out before). It’s wrong and everyone around suffers.
By clicking links from tweet to article to articles today I got sucked in reading about Nick Saban and the NFL. (Yeah I know I’m football obsessed, it’s ok.) I read an article that quoted Ol St Nick saying he regretted leaving LSU & college football and another saying he did not feel comfortable with the players in the NFL. Do I think that is bc he lost his authority in NFL, yeah. Do I think that is a HUGE problem in classrooms today, yeah. I can’t change that. But let’s think about him at the Dolphins. He became heartless. He wasn’t the guy cooking gumbo for the fire dept after they worked long hours doing tornado clean up. Or the guy who let sweaty cheerleaders sit in his fancy car. No he was the guy who stepped over his player having a seizure on the locker room floor (allegedly). That guy. The guy who turned off the emotion & fun part of the job and just went through the motions, taught, and went home. Wow that sounds familiar. I’m glad Saban left that. Not just because I’m a Bama fan hoping for that #15 championship, but because he nor his players deserved that.
Sometimes we get so dang focused on our job. On seeing the big picture. On looking at that entire forest that we aren’t taking time to look at and enjoy the hundreds of different trees that you pass along the way. I’m ready to go back to studying the trees and trusting the forest will grow one tree at a time. I’m sure you can guess my professional New Years Resolution. Happy 2013 y’all!