Teacher WORST Day

by Sarah on January 25, 2012 · 20 comments

A teacher work day implies slightly less stress than a usual day, as you get to wear jeans (or even sweatpants, depending on your principal), come in a little bit later, take a more leisurely lunch, and check items off of your to-do list without having to, you know, actually teach the small children. I usually quite enjoy teacher work days.
Until Monday.
When teacher work day turned into teacher worst day.
I went into the day with confidence. I had a blog post about my Baked Bean Chili due for the Breathe Magazine blog on Tuesday, but I’d worked on it over the weekend (for once, not procrastinating)* and was happy to have that off of my plate.
*Hope my editor’s not reading this…
Life was good. Until the post disappeared. My heart sank, as plans for a blogger meet-up/cooking class in Richmond were no longer feasible, but I trudged out into the gloomy day and decided to treat myself (with a gift card…) to having someone else make my coffee.
Somehow, I still ended up at school at the normal time (which is early–even on a ‘normal’ day–compared to the other teachers), so I used the extra time to try and center myself and frantically e-mail my editor and rewrite my post.*
*I hope my principal isn’t reading this…
Eventually I switched gears to planning and grading and report card-ing, with a side of plain and simple oatmeal, made in the workroom microwave.
I got into the zone of copying and prep and munched on an apple with a side of Word Study.
[Yes, your eyes are telling the truth. I like to sit in the dark when I’m alone in my classroom. It’s nice to take a break from flourescence. (I’m not hiding, I swear.)]
As usual, I’d packed my lunch, and was excited to dig in to leftover Hot ‘n Southern Soup–
—with a side of “yes, I am in elementary school” carrot and celery sticks, with hummus (of course).
Unfortunately, no one had sent me the memo that there are usually organized lunches at this school on teacher work days. The theme of this one was “salads,” which y’all know I would have loved to contribute to! I felt a little left out, but went to eat lunch with everyone anyway. And, obviously, we’re elementary school teachers, so it’s not like they didn’t force me to take something.
I had two helpings each of three-bean salad and Texas caviar. And then I took some Texas caviar home. [It was so fresh, light, and delicious! It was a little bright (and black?)-eyed sweetness in the midst of a crazy day.]
It’s hard to say why I felt like this was such a horrid day. I think starting off with the stress and diappointment of my hard work going to waste, followed by hours of grading and copying and planning, only to find out I had still MORE meeting and testing and grading to do that I wasn’t aware of, for kids I am just getting to know, that caused me to feel so down in the dumps.
I nearly cried once or twice when told of a new project or task to add to the list. And then I really cried when I slammed my hand in the door of my classroom.
Seriously? (Do you see the bump?) Luckily, a trip to the gym re-centered me. I caught up with the Kardashians, bought my first place, and learned how you met my mother. [I have elliptical, TV-viewing ADD.]
I arrived home, hoping desparately to seek solace in cooking, but my roommate was in there, and I was in such a downer mood that I didn’t want to talk to anyone. Plans of dancing around the kitchen to Lady Antebellum dashed, I instead went straight to my room….where, while trying to retrieve photos from my extrenal hard drive, said hard drive crashed through the bottom of the box.
I don’t make this stuff up, people. But I do make some strange decisions…like snacking on some leftover steamed cauliflower (topped with nutritional yeast and Penzey’s Northwoods Seasoning) and roasted, cumin-dusted eggplant.
Is it weird to snack on cold, leftover cooked vegetables? Because I do it all the time.
Lunch prep commenced, involving a number of spills and “can I really not do ONE thing right?” sighs of frustration. I was just having a day, y’all. With the advice to “eat my favorite food” for dinner, I made this mountain of goodness in a bowl.
I do not apologize for the fact that luxuriate in a very large salad (complete with cold, roasted, delicata squash…pretty and pretty tasty) with hummus…all stirred around until it’s a big old mess of garbanzo-coated goodness. [Newman’s Own Sesame Ginger Dressing optional.]
Nor do I apologize for using a legit baby fork.
Dinner: Part One was a success, not to be outdone by Dinner: Part Two. Ever since I was the age where it was actually OK to eat with baby forks, I’ve loved a big bowl of all-mixed-up (don’t know what to do*) cereal.
*311 allusion! What now?
What I didn’t know as a child was the surprising joy of burying strawberries and slightly thawed Trader Joe’s Frozen Mango underneath.
Mango juice infused almond milk makes a surprisingly yummy pairing with Barbara’s Blueberry Burst Shredded Minis.
The only way to end a miserable day is with a very happy snack. (While watching Downton Abbey, because you have determined that reading before bed is NOT an option when your mindset is so crummy.)
And yes, my smartypants students, there is a lesson in all of this.
Actually, there are three:
  1. When you look back on “the worst day ever” you realize how NOT horrible it really was. [Perspective is an incredible thing.]
  2. Slamming your hand in a door really hurts.
  3. In the morning, you get to start all over again. And if you’ve just had “the worst day ever,” it’s impossible for the next one to be as bad.*
*It wasn’t. :)