Friday, March 21, 2014

SOL Day 21: Laughter is the Best Medicine

Being a teacher is the best job I could ever hope to do. I've wanted to be a teacher since I was in the first grade. Now, I am a first grade teacher. I won't lie, it's not always rainbows and lollipops. Most of the time I really enjoy what I do, but sometimes it can be incredibly frustrating. Just mention to a teacher OTES, IEPs, Common Core, or Standardized Testing and you can see the tension seep into every pore of their body. I try not to get too stressed out about it all, but when you are a teacher, you feel a certain sense of responsibility to not only your career, but also to your students.

There are days when you know that you have made the right career choice. Sometimes all it takes is a hug, or a successful lesson, or a positive email from a parent. I had a lot of little moments that made my day today one of those days that you feel like it's all going to be alright. One of my more challenging students, when faced with the possibility of being the "Mystery Helper" and earning a special treat for the class, rose to the challenge and had the best day in weeks. And that was without even knowing for sure that he was the Mystery Helper (which he turned out to be.) I had a positive and successful IAT meeting this morning. One of my little girls gave me the longest hug at the end of the day and said, "I don't want to go home. I won't get to see you for a whole week!" (today was the start of our Spring Break.) I reassured her that she could write me a personal note on our Kidblog and we could be "penpals" over Spring Break and she left with a huge smile on her face.

Then, at the very end of the day...I mean the bell had rung and everyone else had left, one of my little girls had a difficult moment. It just completely broke my heart. If it hadn't been for the support of my team, I probably would have closed my door and sat in my chair and cried. I felt so sad for her and so helpless. 

By now, you are probably wondering about the title of my post, "Laughter is the Best Medicine." Be patient, I had to give you the setup first. (This is really a two-part story.)

A short time later, I was in my room working on my classroom supply order (which was due at 4:30, by the way) when my teammate Marie came into my room to work on hers as well. We were at side-by-side computers entering similar items. I finished mine and realized that I came in 8 cents under budget. Woo hoo! At this point Marie, who is always up for a challenge, says to me, "I bet I can get closer." Now, you have to know that the company we are ordering from gives a great discount. When we enter our order online, you see immediately what you order amount is minus the discount. We add an item, refresh, check out our new total, add more items, and repeat. So, Marie says to me, "If I get closer, you have to go get your nails done with me!" Who knew she was so competitive? I accepted her challenge. I mean, really, closer than 8 cents?

Here's where the laughter comes in. She is adding and deleting items to try to get as close as she can to my total. At one point, she realizes that she only entered the quantity of 1 when it should have been 24. I think we spent 5 minutes laughing over that one alone. Eventually, she hit refresh and she beat my total! Unfortunately, she spent so much time perfecting her order, it got too late for me to go to the nail salon with her. She left with the promise that when it was time to get her nails done again, I would go with her. 

This is what is great about my friends and teammates. I had been pretty down when the day ended, but she really helped me to pull out of it with a little bit of silliness. I'm not going to be able to forget about what happened with my student, but a little bit of laughter made it a little easier to remember the positive.


  1. Teammates can make all the difference in the world! I am so glad that your sadness turned into laughter by the end of the day!

  2. Darn! I don't know which one I sadder about, missing out supporting you or missing the nail date! (Smiling) I am glad Marie could lift your spirits, she's great at that! Now, Off to do my order….Shh! It's late!