I have to admit, I felt a little nervous to write this post. Here goes...
Teachers are "on stage". We have to be.
Sometimes, during my prep periods when I'm a little sick or a little tired, I've sat with my forehead on my desk knowing that I still have seven more sweet minutes until that bell rings and then, it's showtime. As a teacher, we have to be "on" and ready to command the attention of 20 pre-teens to get them to learn something (hopefully).
On Friday, it was one of those days where I was just tired and ready for the weekend when it was only 3rd period. I was walking up to my classroom at the same time the stampede of 7th graders were walking upstairs too. One of my students from last year walked with me instead of joining the stampede. We exchanged a short conversation:
Me: "Hi - how are you doing today?"
Her; "Good, I'm happy it's Friday."
Me: "Me too! But it doesn't feel like Friday today. I was cranky before for some reason."
Her: "But Ms. S, you're always happy..."
Always? No way. Do I try to be positive in front of my students? Absolutely. Friends and family, too. But, sometimes the idea of always having to be happy is a little daunting.
This was something I talked to Ryan about earlier in the week, feeling a little overwhelmed. Sometimes, I think it's normal to feel pressure to exude happiness all the time because, well, why wouldn't I be happy? Unless we have a massive problem in our life, we feel like we're supposed to be happy because we have no reason not to be, as if it would be selfish to feel otherwise. But sometimes it's also okay to be mellow or quiet or even sad. Ryan reminded me that it's okay to tell him if I have a bad day, or even just a so-so day and that I don't need to put on a happy face 24/7 for him.
In a world of perfect images of perfect people with perfect lives, it's important to remember that it's okay to be ourselves, too. And that self doesn't always have to be a ray of sunshine. While the sunshine is nice, sometimes it has to be cloudy, and that's okay.