As of this week, I have been teaching for ten years.
I did some reckoning as I drove home today to try to wrap my head around the concept of a decade. (This comic's observation blew my mind a little earlier this week, so obviously I needed to give myself some concrete numbers to process ten years of teaching.) For example:
Since January, 2002 I have...
- Taught nine different subjects (13 if you count each different grade level of English as a different subject).
- Taught kids from grades 6-12, ages 11-19.
- Taught in three different schools.
- Taught a class as small as nine students and a class as large as 52 students.
- Produced/directed seven school musicals (eight if you count the one I'm in the middle of now).
- I tried to count how many plays I've produced/directed, but it's just too many to count. Guessing, I'd put it at... 40 productions? Maybe more?
- I also tried to estimate how many students I've taught/directed. Again, it has to be a guess, but I am well over 1000 students, and probably closer to 1500.
- Taken students on dozens of field trips, including a memorable one to Cedar City and, in five months, a long one to New York City.
- Seen over 30 plays on field trips with students.
- Introduced over 100 students (and several parents) to professional live theater by taking them to shows.
- Watched "The Reduced Shakespeare Company's Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged" and "Into the Woods" on DVD over 20 times each.
- Said, "And that's us!" after Check-In in every class period, every day, for over 180 days per year, since 2006 (except for a few months at STMS when my principal forbade me to do check-in).
- Coached speech kids to win dozens of Best of Event trophies at over 30 speech meets.
- Ridden thousands of miles on school buses.
- Okay, seriously- 1500 kids! I can't even wrap my brain around teaching for a decade, let alone the fact that I have talked to, worked with, worried about, celebrated with, sung with, laughed with, graded papers written by, made a deliberate fool out of myself, and gotten to know that many people.
I have also met some of my favorite people in the world, pushed myself in ways they never warned me about in teacher college, worked through a lot of my own fears and hang-ups from school (mostly middle school), and, despite some really hard days and countless nights where I fall asleep while eating dinner, I am still glad to be a teacher. It's who I am, it's who I am meant to be, and it's one of the best parts of me.
Oh, also? I've been teaching for ten years and I have never, not even once during that time, eaten lunch from a school cafeteria.