At approximately 4:30 this morning, I rolled out of bed and began getting ready for a long day. Today was out District contest day. As I headed out the door, I took a peak at the thermometer and found it to be about 21 degrees. Let me just say... that's cold!!
After several trips to my house last night... (I'm staying at the parents because it's so cold at my house... my fire building skills aren't that good) I managed to end up in the car with a blanket, my ski gloves, a jacket, scarf and hat.
I arrived at the school at 5:30 am... with time to spare before our 6am departure time. I finished up my lesson plans, made sure I had all of my forms filled out and together, and patiently waited for the kids to arrive. About 5 minutes before we were supposed to leave, my teaching partner came in my classroom and told me that the bus driver wanted to talk to us. Oh great! It seems that our bus, a "pusher" (that means a flat nosed one, which will run an astonishing 65 mph) was not working properly... so, we had to wait for another bus.
Fast forward about 20 minutes and we were finally able to load up on another bus. As I climbed aboard, the bus driver looked at me and said "This one isn't working right either, we're going to have to stop at the bus barn and get another one."
So, about 30 minutes after we were supposed to, we finally made it to Williston to pick up the rest of our riders. A quick loading and we were off for Madison, Florida (I know, don't tell me that Chiefland is closer to Madison, it's not a good topic with me) Now, for those of you who haven't rode on a school bus lately, the fastest that the old buses will run is 57 mph. So, we drove 57 on the interstate from Gainesville to Madison. To make it worse, there was no heat on the bus (thank goodness for the blanket) which meant that it was probably a good thing that everyone was having to double up in the seats.
Needless to say, we were about 45 minutes to an hour late and for the entire last hour, I had students telling me how bad they needed to stop. (Fortunately, I wasn't the only adult that agreed we had to keep going) We finally made it to the contest, and things started to calm down. And while it wasn't our best day, it was one that reminds me why I do what I do.
You see, I do what I do because of days like today. Watching students push themselves to be better, seeing them step oustide their comfort zone and make new friends, and even learning that if they want to win, they have to try harder are the things that I value about my job. I can honestly say, if I were stuck in a classroom every day, I couldn't make it as a teacher. And I guess, that even if I have to get up super early, or freeze on a yellow dog, I can't think of anything more rewarding!