being challenged

last friday, at the very end of our staff meeting, someone mentioned something about there being no school on monday. from the back of the classroom i exclaimed, “what??” i had no idea we had veteran’s day off. “wait, you mean there is no school for students or meetings for teachers and admin??” my co-workers were pretty amused, and i was absolutely ecstatic. an unexpected day off?? what a stellar surprise.

i spent veteran’s day sleeping, organizing, shopping, exercising, relaxing, writing and eating. it was glorious.

yesterday i had to unexpectedly sub, filling in for a teacher who spent the morning throwing up in the school bathroom. it was an extremely challenging day for me – let’s just say i almost broke into tears in front of 40 seventh graders (after having already broken into quite a passionate and loud lecture on unacceptable behavior).

after that arduous day, i had a conversation with my roommate about her new job. she went on about the catered lunches and endlessly available snacks, the awesome facilities, the good pay and the general easiness of her tasks. i thought to myself…what am i doing in my job?! it is really hard! and very limited free food!!

and then, this morning at school breakfast, three sixth grade girls ran in the door of the cafeteria with their arms out wide and we had a quick group hug while they chattered a bright “good morning!” then, a seventh grade boy brought me a big blooming flower that had fallen from the rosebush in the front of the school. when i started to dance to the music i always turn on during breakfast, a sassy sixth grader just looked me up and down and said, “no, miss eyre, just no.” a couple more high fives and thank yous later, i realized this stuff is better than catered lunch.

i was really, really grateful for a day off. but – every other day i am really grateful to be doing important, good work.

p.s. isn’t “yay” just such a happy word? that image above is about what flashed through my head when i heard i had monday off.
p.p.s. i recently re-discovered
jewel and hootie and the blowfish and can’t stop listening to their music from the 90s. must have middle school on the brain. but seriously – that’s some good stuff.


  1. I like the word yah too:)

    When I get excited about something that I want to talk about about on Facebook (& blogs) I write yaaaaaaaa:)

    That was lovely what those children did, little things like that probably make it easier to want to carry on in your job.

  2. YES! Middle schoolers are the best. They are so fun and awkward and delightful and loving and weird and wonderful. WAY better than free lunches!

  3. I work at one of those places with endless free food and amazing perks (but in NYC, not Silicon Valley:) trust me, the thrill wears off! At the end of the day (or the year, or years) it's so worthwhile to be doing something you want to do. Yay for that:)