I just concluded my first week back in the classroom since before shipping to Basic.
What a week it was. For one, it was exhausting. I haven't looked forward to the weekend so much since I was in AIT nearly a year and a half ago.
Teaching is probably like combat soldiering in one major respect. You have to arrive early, and be 100% on your game, or you'll get mowed over. That's no exaggeration. During a professional development day some years back and my colleague and I arrived "just before the bell" to a group of other teachers ready to absorb the presenters' knowledge. It was so relaxing to show up on time and not do anything more than that. My colleague said, "this is like every other job."
Most jobs, yes. Outside of teaching, a combat or training military job is one of the only types that demands as much at every moment of the work day.
Another thought was that teaching, as many things tend to be, is much easier said than done. A comparison I made in a recent interview was that anyone can be a soldier and anyone can teach, but it takes discipline, commitment, and skill to do either of them well.
I am not going to display a huge poster counting down the days until the school year ends like I did with the deployment, although I don't think my principal would be quite as annoyed with that as my command sergeant major was. Rather, I will enjoy the coming weeks getting to know my new students and watching them learn, and seeing myself develop as a teacher after so many years of talking about it.
For those of you downrange, stay on top of your game, tiring as it may be. Your weekend will come soon enough.