I am entering the second semester of teaching at a new school in the middle of a pandemic. As a business teacher, I have a stressful week in front of me. We have moved our DECA competition to this week. It needed to be changed into a completely digital form as the students can’t be in class at all times during the pandemic. I teach elective courses and registration behind this week as well. My business teaching colleague and I have been marketing our classes and remaining hopeful we will have the numbers to have full time positions filled for next year. We are never really tenured. I teach semester courses so I had to set up all new classes and am teaching 4 different courses this semester. Lot’s of new students and a new curriculum. Finally, my business is launching our 90 for 90 sessions on Monday evenings. The co-founders are working hard to market and promote the talk… the first in a series.
Please understand, I am not complaining. This is exactly what I signed up for.
So last night was Sunday. Wild card Sunday for the NFL in fact. For a Bears fan, hardly a great day. I went to bed at my normal time, grabbed my book and read… and didn’t feel tired at all. I continued to read and read and read. When I checked the clock, it read 11:04pm. I wasn’t tired at all. So many thoughts were racing through my brain as they usually do every new semester for the last 20 years. I would give it a try to get some rest. No luck. I tossed and turned most of the night. At one point, I got up and grabbed some water and peeked at the clock. It was 1:30. Only four hours between now and my alarm. I guess somewhere in there I eventually fell asleep.
My alarm hit me like a hammer on the head.
5:30 up and letting the dogs out was rough. Brewed some coffee and set up my morning routine for the day. I jumped in the shower and went to the sink to shave. I looked at my eyes...they looked tired. I poured the first cup of coffee, pet the dogs and said goodbye heading out the door.
Even though I am tired, I make myself optimistic on what the day will bring. A new set of problems in which new solutions will come. A lot of learning. Meeting new students and teaching new things offers me a new perspective each day.
I call days like these “Foxhole Days.”
You see, my grandfather was in World War II fighting in Europe back in 1945. He was in the Battle of the Bulge. He was in foxholes and didn’t have the chance to get a good night’s sleep for a long time. Yet every day, his life was on the line. Every day, death was around him. He kept fighting on. This is my motivation for “Foxhole Days.” I have a choice to not complain and move forward when I am tired. My grandfather didn’t. I have no excuse. Foxhole days are tiring, yet they are never as bad as a day in the Ardennes Forest in the winter of 1945.
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