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A concerned member of the human race

Monday, February 9, 2015

Teacher Strong!

Daily Training Schedule, U.S. Army           
Army Boot Camp5 a.m. - Wake up
5:30 a.m. - Physical Training
6:30 a.m. - Breakfast
8:30 a.m. - Training
Noon - Lunch
1 p.m. - Training
5 p.m. - Dinner
6 p.m. - Drill Sergeant Time
8:30 p.m. - Personal Time
9:30 p.m. - Lights Out

Schedule, U.S. Teacher          
4:59 a.m. - Wake up
5:30 a.m. Blog
6:00 a.m. Walk Dogs;
6:30 a.m. Get Kids Ready for School

6:45 a.m.  Walk Dogs Yet Again
7:00 a.m.  Drop Kids at School
7:30 a.m.  Ride Train to NYC
8:30 a.m. - Approach Destination
9:00 a.m.  P.D. Session
9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Teach, Grade, Maybe Lunch
4:00 p.m. Ride Train Home
4:30 p.m.  Dogs Again and Kids
5 p.m. - Kids' After-School Activity
6 p.m. - Dinner

7p.m.  Short Run (Once or Twice a Week)
8:00 p.m.  Kids Tucked In
8:30 p.m. - School Prep and Personal Time
10:00-11:00 p.m.- Lights Out

When I was younger, I marveled that the U.S. military did more by "9 a.m. than most people do all day."  Now, I marvel at how much a teacher does in a day.

In my initial years, I had the luxury of a later start.  I was single and lived close to where I worked.  I could get up at 7:22 a.m., run ten miles with my Walkman (in preparation for another marathon) and make it to work with a big smile by 10 something.

Now, life is a little more complicated.  I wake up one minute before the U.S. Army training schedule.  I march the dogs out for their walks in the pitch dark.   I look for windows with lights.  There are more than I had previously imagined.

I arrive at my kids' school parking lot by 7 a.m. for an early drop off.  I am not the first to arrive.  Some teachers arrive early to prep for the day.  Sweet serendipity to not be alone in that darkness.  Sweet serendipity to know teachers care for their students.  

When I board the train, shortly after 7 a.m., I can hardly guess how many thousands have rode that line before me.  The lady checking my ticket has been up for hours.  Some of my colleagues at school are already busy teaching.

I still approach work with a smile, but it doesn't mean I don't look forward to vacations.  (Presidents' week is looking pretty good at the moment.)  I marvel at the pregnant teachers and the colleagues with smaller kids.  I wonder how they do it.  

I marvel at how we balance family with work, including lesson prep. and grading.  I wonder how single parents do it.  I wonder how someone who works 'til six every day manages.  What about people who work two jobs to make ends meet?  I wonder how we all do it.  We are strong.  Some are very strong.  There must be at least a little something in us that is "army strong"!  Now, teachers work under fire.  Thankfully, the bullets are not literal!

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