Today is the first day...

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. I suppose we can say that every day, but some days, I wonder...really? This is it? Now, don't get me wrong, I love my life, but every day, dealing with uninterested 8th graders can be exhausting. Not the, "wow! I feel inspired" exhausted, but rather the "I am weary to my bones" exhausted. This exhaustion makes me think about where I am going and what I am doing...I love my job, but I wish on days, like today, I felt like I was doing better at it.

Every day I get the quote of the day from Values.com (which I recommend highly) and today's quote is "To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe. ~ Anatole France"

I believe...I believe that I have the power to influence my students. I believe that math is a life skill, although I will acknowledge that no one is going to ask you to graph while walking down the street. I believe that the students of today (granted, this is a broad generalization) are disenchanted with the school system, not plugged in, and many feel unsupported in their venture. I also believe that teachers are overworked and underappreciated. I don't say that just because I am a teacher, but rather because I see it every day. Out system is broken and we, as a country, are not invested in fixing it. I want to be part of the solution. I feel that teaching is my calling. This is my 21st year and I am not disenfranchised (yet), but I am exhausted.

I worry that the students of today will be the adults of tomorrow and currently, my 8th graders don't seem know how to stand in the hallway quietly or bring a pencil or paper or many things for that matter. How will they know to show up at work on time? Bring their supplies? Be able to do math in their heads? My students (many of them) don't know how to multiply, are scared of fractions, can't problem solve (at all and I don't mean in just the math way), but in general. What does this mean for our future? These children (although they are semi-adults) will be making decisions for us and that is a bit scary.

I look around and wonder what is the key...the key to making the change, the key to sparking the interest, the key to investment in knowledge. I have taught high school and I try to prepare my students for the next step, but they don't believe me. THey believe that "next year" they are going to get serious..next year. They don't understand that the patterns of today become the patterns of tomorrow and that, in high school, the teachers won't hold your hand, keep your vocabulary book for them (as one student suggested I do for all students today..ugh), or give them supplies each day. They must grow up, take responsibility, be ready, and yet, they think I am lying. It won't be that hard...

Teaching is just one part of my life...the other part is my family, but that will be another blog...another story.

For today it is just this, " Math solves all the world's problems ~Shannon Mashinchi" It really is true...I'm just waiting for it to solve mine!

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