I love my job…usually.
Last week I was frustrated.
I was stressed because in the last pay period I worked 4 out of 10 days.
My lead teacher can be pompous and often doesn’t let me take the lead even when I request it. Sometimes she talks down to me. Often she doesn’t listen to my ideas, or takes them over as her own.
Hours are being cut, I’m working part time, and while we’re cutting costs as often as we can, going from part time to full time has been a difficult transition.
The kids are driving me crazy, pushing their limits, testing us, and generally being rambunctious.
I’ve been wondering if I should be looking for another job, feeling like I’m not contributing enough to our family.
And then…something happened.
We’ve been working on Chinese dragons all throughout January for Chinese New Year. It was a big thing for me, because I have been the one spear-heading the whole craft. Although Chinese New Year was a couple weeks ago, we decided to have a “parade” with our dragons, especially because we had two little girls who celebrate in our class.
My lead teacher was leading the parade, and I was following up behind. She played a song on a little recorder, and (most of) the kids hummed or sang along. We paraded through the other classrooms, through the office, and back to our classroom. For a class of almost 30 kids, they were amazingly well behaved, and I was really proud of them.
To put the next part of the story into context, I need to tell you about Michael*. Michael is younger than the other kids, and he’s a complete handful. He doesn’t listen, he’s always in his own world, and though he’s adorable, he couldn’t sit still if his life depended on it.
So there I am, at the end of the line with Michael, who is being surprisingly well behaved. I was so proud of him because lines are definitely not his strong point. Anyway, he leaned over and gave me a side hug and said, in his little voice, “thank you for doing the dragons”.
Suddenly all those frustrations melted away, and I saw my job for what it really is. Introducing those kids to another culture and seeing them actually get it, was wonderful. If no one else appreciates what I do, they do, and that made it all worthwhile.
All the cut hours, the frustrations, the glitter…it suddenly disappeared, because Michael appreciated what I was doing, and he even walked in line properly.
I guess sometimes I need a little reminder of who I actually work for.
*Name has been changed to protect the adorable.
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