When I was a young girl, one of my favorite things to play was "school". I would gather papers and worksheets and notebooks and crayons and red pens and play for hours with my BFF. Occasional we would score some stickers - a real treat! My mom even purchased an old antique school desk that we would use as we played away the summers. When my best friend was busy, I would hunt down my younger brother and subject him to mounds of paperwork and practice, making him redo his work until it was perfect. I actually think I should take some credit for how smart he turned out to be!
When I was a young girl,I had no doubt what I wanted to be when I grew up, even though I did toy with several other ideas through my rebellious teenage years. I loved everything about school. Like the smell of a school. Like office supply stores. Like the "Back to School" aisles filled with endless racks of markers, crayons, scissors, glue sticks, folders, new lunch boxes, and so much more! I love when the bell rings at the beginning of the day and sometimes love it even more at the end of the day. I love shopping for school clothes and making sure I get a hair cut before picture day. There are school lunches and recess and field trips. I love having my own classroom with desks and bulletin boards and personal little decorations. I love the "copy room", my mailbox in the office, my name outside my classroom and freshly waxed floors after school breaks. I love coat racks and the smell of the library with all its great stories for children. I love fire drills and tornado drills. I love freshly sharpened pencils with pink erasers and crisp notebook paper. I love book orders and office supply catalogs.
Often parents will look at me, usually this occurs after a class party or field trip, and say, "I don't know how you do it." Or they say, "I could never do what you do." I always just smile and tell them how much I enjoy my job. Because I really do.
Wednesday, my husband had some surgery on his shoulder. Throughout our morning the nurses popped in and out of the room, smiling and adjusting his IV. They monitored his blood pressure and heart rate and always asked if he was comfortable. After the surgery, the nurses appeared again, checking, monitoring, adjusting and always asking about his comfort and pain level. Any little thing we asked, they happily complied or answered. I couldn't help but keep thinking, "I don't know how they do this!" When one of my husband's bandages came loose and blood trickled down his chest, I panicked, ran into the hallway to find a nurse and watched as the nurse gently and efficiently rebandaged the arm. Again, I thought to myself, "I could never do this!"
I've been "playing" nurse for two days now as my husband is recovering at home. He has been in a lot of pain and is unable to do many of the things we take for granted every day. He had some complications the first night, resulting in a return trip to the hospital. He is grateful when I bring him a snack or help fluff up his pillows to make him more comfortable. I've had to adjust the IV picc ball that sends numbing medication to his arm. I'm administering pain medication at precise times and keeping ice at the ready. But no matter what I do, I know I'm not nearly as efficient as the nurses.
At some point in our life we decide what we want to be when we grow up. Sometimes we make the right choice and sometimes we don't. I'm glad I made the right choice. I love going to school every day. I work with wonderful people. I work with a community of parents that go above and beyond to support us teachers. I have a district that supports and believes in its teachers. There is no other job that I would want to do. And I speak from experience as I've had several other careers.
To all the nurses and doctors and social workers and police officers. To all the veterinarians and lawyers and scientists. To all the EMTs and parole officers and judges. To all the engineers and CEOs and entrepreneurs. To the stay at home moms and the psychologists and the principals. To the waitresses and store clerks and the astronauts. To the firemen and the secretaries and the construction workers. To the pilots and plumbers and farmers and managers. To the dentists and the pharmacists and the computer programmers and the occupational therapists. To the speech pathologists and the hair stylists and the artists. To the musicians and the morticians and the auto mechanics and the bus drivers.
I don't know how you do it! I could never do what you do!