I am a few months into my second year of teaching second grade. Including student teaching, I have taught well over fifty kids, so while I am still considered a new teacher, I have hundreds of stories to tell.
There are some thing that my undergraduate classes didn't cover, that nothing prepared me for. Because it's easy to be a teacher - come up with fun games to teach math concepts or help the students to write daily in a journal. The hard part is all the other jobs that comes with teaching.
I am not just a teacher.
I am a hair stylist, washing candy that got stuck in a little girl's hair ten minutes before the class picture was taken.
I am a nurse, applying ice and bandages, inspecting bug bites and scratches.
I am a musician, singing silly songs over and over to help the class memorize grammar rules.
I am a police officer, blowing my whistle to stop kids who are trying to jump over the fence and leave school property.
I am an artist, drawing pictures of flowers, seahorses, hearts, and wild things.
I am a referee, listening to angry friends each tell their side of the story.
I am a judge, enforcing consequences and requiring apologies.
I am a fitness coach, teaching students how to do burpees.
I am a Oscar winning actress, pretending to be surprised at things I've known all along, or holding in laughter when a child is being unknowingly hilarious.
I am a speech therapist, making sure the students are saying "erosion" and not "erection".
I am a scientist, giving kids a chance to suggest theories and test them out.
I am a cleaner, scrubbing paint off of desks and glitter out of rugs.
I am a mother, cleaning the wrinkled shirt that is worn to school every day, sneaking them an extra snack, comforting them after a hard night.
I am a doctor, making sure the little boy with asthma has his inhaler, and knowing the details of a seven year old's antidepressant medication.
I am a reporter, taking notes, sending information home, asking questions, finding the truth.
I am a grief counselor, when a family member dies and the child feels lost.
I am a constant, always smiling even when I feel sick or distracted.
I am an improv actor, finding words to say to "Do storks really bring people babies?" and "Is the tooth fairy real?"
I am supernatural, somehow going the whole day barely eating and never going to the bathroom.
I am a friend, holding hands, swinging next to them, giving hugs.
And I thought I just signed up to be a teacher.