Celebration: I am a teacher

I am sitting down to write this celebration post exactly 24 hours after the announcement came that the teachers in British Columbia voted to ratify the tentative deal struck in the wee hours of the morning on Tuesday. This means that after 5 full weeks on the picket line (2 weeks in June + 3 weeks this fall), 3 rotating strike days before this and 3 weeks of a partial lock out by the government (with a 10% per day reduction in pay), that this nightmare has come to an end.

I am now fully a teacher again.

On Monday, students will be back at school. I don’t quite know how to express my joy. Two weeks ago I promised fireworks and a marching band. But I haven’t quite figured out how to install those things into a blogpost. You are free to close your eyes and imagine them. Very explosive, very loud!  But, if that isn’t working, you will have to settle for me. Tap dancing. I was on CBC news on Tuesday evening after spending a very excited day over the announcement of a tentative deal. Before the on camera interview, I shared how I had been leaping and dancing all day. While the camera men didn’t film it, one of the producers captured it on her phone. If you can’t be silly . . .

I honestly did feel that this post would be one long joyful rant as did a few others I think. That was certainly the plan . . .

I hope it doesn’t disappoint. But I realized yesterday that I kept feeling an emotion that I hadn’t felt since all of this started. It was subtle, but strong. It was pure happiness without any restrictions. It was freedom from worry. It was stepping back into the world instead of standing on the sidelines (or sidewalk – but that’s a place I am not going today. . . )

All of us have many parts and our career is just one piece. I know this. I am a mother. A wife. A daughter. A sister. A friend. A neighbour. Beyond this, of course, I am other things. A reader. A walker. A gardener. A coffee enthusiast.

But I AM A TEACHER. It is not the biggest thing or the best. But I love it. I didn’t choose to walk away from it. I was stopped from doing it. Being a teacher compliments everything I do. It is where I feel passion. Where I learn. Where I find joy and challenge and strength. My classroom, when children are in it, is a place of laughter. A place where little moments of magic are discovered, sometimes, completely by surprise. It is also a place of deep, sometimes painful emotion. What I have experienced in our classroom community are experiences that have shaped me and pushed me and shocked me. All of it, I loved. Every bit.

And of course a strike is stressful. No pay cheques x 2 (my husband is a teacher) so very scary. The politics and issues of the entire provincial education system were everywhere. Inescapable for months and months. I am by no means a head in the sand type. But everyone needs some breaks from the intensity. Those “moments away” were sometimes very hard to achieve. Forest walks saved me, many a time.

On Monday, moments like these become mine again.

Celebration: I am a teacher

Celebration: I am a teacher Celebration: I am a teacher

I know that the smiles and antics of my students in our first few moments together are what will be the final release. Then, this whole mess will really be over and I will take my first full steps back into the place I love to be. Teaching and learning. Wrapped up in a whirlwind year. The huge potential and the tiny small moments. I cannot wait.

Thank you to everyone near and far for all of your support. I would love to share all of the beautiful tweets sent my way but I might crash this blog. I thought about sharing just my favourites. But they are all my favourites. I have such gratitude. So if you are reading this post, please accept my huge and sincere THANK YOU!!


Thank you also to Ruth Ayres, for the inspiration and her Celebration Link up that she hosts each week. I treasure this #celebratelu community. In all honesty, participating in this community every week, through all of this, was part of what got me through.

36 thoughts on “Celebration: I am a teacher

  1. I’m happy I returned to the computer to find you’d posted. It doesn’t get better than tap dancing, & I’m sure the students are also doing the happy dance, waiting, waiting for school, and for you, their teacher! Have a marvelous weekend anticipating, and a wonderful time on Monday, first day of autumn, back to school!

    • Linda, thank you for everything. It means a lot to know I have such special people rooting for me. And yes, lots of happy dances! I have had a spring in my step all day – been out walking all over the city. So happy!

  2. You don’t need to find a way to include fireworks and a marching band in this post. We see the fireworks in the anticipation of your arrival on Monday through your pictures and words, and we hear the beat of the drum through your endless dedication to your students. That drum beat every day whether you were in school with them or locked out and thinking about them. Happy first day of school to you! Enjoy!

  3. I shared a similar celebration post today – minus the tap dancing! (Love that!) SO happy to be sharing this celebration with you. Your post is beautiful, as always. Your passion for your job leaps off the page. Love your joyful, tapping, teaching face!

  4. Yay! I’m so happy for you and your students! Thanks for sharing your journey so openly. Your story helps others who may be going through something similar by showing them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. (P.S. Love the dancing too!)

  5. Lovely post Carrie! So happy to see strain replaced by sheer joy. We look forward to sharing this at dinner tonight.
    Love, May

    • So pleased. I had weepy relieved tears when writing it. But then, moments later – almost closure. There will be more tears of the happy sort on Monday when we see the kids and then the wonderful journey of moving on.

  6. Such fantastic news Carrie! Your professionalism during this very difficult time, keeping your STUDENTS at the forefront of your concern is to be commended. Enjoy every moment of Monday…and the days to follow! Wishing you and your students days of joyful learning!

  7. Woo Hoo! This is the best celebration ever. I’m so glad you’ll be back where you belong on Monday. Lucky students! Pure happiness without restriction and release from stress. I’ll be thinking of you on Monday morning!

  8. Yes, there’s joy here, but even more important, perhaps, a sense of purpose. That, I think, is what I would miss most if I weren’t teaching. The fulfillment that comes from challenging, complex, important work that we learn and grow from every day. A beautiful post and a very satisfying piece of writing. Very rough day here yesterday–I found joy in visiting your blog, reading your words, and knowing that you and all of the other teachers & students will be back where they belong on Monday. Ooh! And paychecks mean books!! I haven’t forgotten about that either!

    • Yes, book shopping can again be in my future. Not for a bit. There is some playing catch up. Our first full pay cheques aren’t until October 15th. October 1st will be a partial one. But yes, this was an important post for me to write and share. So often, I never believed I would really be writing it.

  9. I am so so happy for you and your students! I’m crying tears of happiness here in WI. The tap dancing is fantastic. I’m glad someone caught it. The words in your blog post are beautiful. You are a teacher. You are a teacher in your classroom and outside of it too. I appreciate all that you share with the many people who read your blog and follow you on twitter. You have spoken to this teacher’s heart many times. I wish you a wonderful first week back.

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