Slice of Life Challenge Thing

Hi. I’m eddie. I’m a teacher that has always identified as a failed writer who identifies as a failed romantic who identifies with everything I’m not as opposed to what I am. I am eddie and I’m a teacher and this will be my first entry in the everyday blog thing for work.

A little background: I forget to remember things often. Things that are important to my job and my life and stuff, but not really. Meeting times and paperwork due dates and the fact that said meetings and paperwork exists in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, every once in a while I understand that this might be perceived by someone as my slighting them for whatever reason. Someone put effort into that email I forgot to reply to over which color paper the permission slip should be printed on, and my google doc reflection on that impromptu plan-time meeting over whether or not we continue using google docs to reflect on meetings is the key to finally reaching a solution to that question which has plagued us forever. I get all caught up in my actual teaching sometimes. Or raising 3 kids while only living with them part time. Plus I just started to watch Shameless, so… Anyways, I always feel bad if someone asks a couple days later if I “saw that email, or…” – I am working on it and getting better. Growth mindset, yo.

The reason I disappeared down that tangent hole was ultimately to say that as soon as I joined this writing thing I went and started this blog page and gave it a lame name and bookmarked it, all so I wouldn’t forget it was something I committed to doing. Because I feel like it would help me at my job in more than one way. Anyone reading this knows generally what I mean. But then today was the first day and literally everyone who joined the thing was going to read my thing and judge my lame name and no picture and why is that nature picture with the stock quote on here and why can’t I figure out how to delete any of it and what are the hundreds of actual adult real life educators who joined this project solely to read my blogs going to think when they see such generic items on my blog when I am clearly the most interesting, mysterious person there is with a blog?!?!?!

So over lunch I changed the name to an old blog name I liked when I was a stay at home dad and went back to school late in order to become a teacher because after having kids I realized there was nothing that brought me more pure egotistical joy than teaching them things. They made me do a blog there and I actually quite enjoyed it. So I stole the name for this from that version of myself. That version was equally forgetful but less aware and thus less affected. I scrambled at lunch time but I got it done with the title change and perfect picture search and all the important outer beauty magic that matters when it comes to thoughts relayed via text. This is my plan time and I may be scrambling to throw an intro blog up but I’m getting it done. Because I have an after school club to run after school (which was a perfect time, I thought, for just such a club), and then a little kid time, then the gym because winter break broke me, then I have papers to grade and laundry to do, and maybe a Shameless to squeeze in when I finally sit down at like 10.

I get done what needs doing. I want to be and do and seem extra but right now that want has to be enough and on days when I can do something extra I feel like a superhero. I feel like I am briefly what I see when I look at lots of you. I love to write and I love to teach. With all my heart. I do both everyday and I hope, one day, to consider myself good at it. I was talking to a brilliant teacher yesterday who I admire and find myself constantly in awe of. She’s miles better than I am right now. And it became clear in our conversation that she thought SHE had so much work to do to get where she wanted to be as an educator. In my head the panic got even more real. My passion for teaching kids propels me over the top when my inability to find time to have the “cute” classroom the kids like or everything with color-coded scratch n sniff labeling to keep all this hyper important data hyper organized or a classroom library that doesn’t look like it belongs in the basement of a secondhand store in an old bargain bin long ago slated for goodwill or the incinerator all make me feel like I’m betraying this job I have coveted and pedestal’ed for so long and know in my soul is very important.

But then I remembered who I was. I am eddie – writer, teacher, dad, coach, son, brother. I am a Ridge kid teaching Ridge kids. I realized the one thing this superhero teacher and I have in common is that passion for what we do. And neither of us thinks we are where we should be yet and it bums both of us out because we both believe with all of our hearts that students deserve the opportunities they are afforded when given the very best to educate them and we so desperately want to be that. For them. But, if we have those things in common, and I know without a doubt that she is a remarkable teacher, then maybe I’ll be ok too. In this job I think it’s important to want to be the best and never believe you are. At least it makes me feel good to think that.

11 thoughts on “Slice of Life Challenge Thing

  1. Eddie, if this is a glimpse into the writing we’re going to get from you this month… well, I can’t wait! This was so fun to read, and I love the purposefully long, rambling sentences. It’s like being in your head. It’s such a perfect example of what we mean when we talk about ‘voice’ in writing. This sentence alone hooked me: I’m a teacher that has always identified as a failed writer who identifies as a failed romantic who identifies with everything I’m not as opposed to what I am.

    This was such a pleasure to read, and I can’t wait to see what this month brings!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is why you are so easy to like, so easy to get along with and so easy to work with. BTW, you were totally talking about me in here… right?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Welcome to the SOL Challenge! I operate under a blanket of ignorance, and it’s blissful. Maybe I’ve seen you under here too. If the SOL is a place of judgement and blog snobbery, I would wouldn’t make it. BUT, I do make it, and it’s wonderful. I hope you soon consider yourself one of us. I thoroughly enjoyed the read. I’ll be back for more. No pressure, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great first “slice.” I feel you, totally, on trying to keep the balance. I keep ending up being totally forgetful and disorganized because I’m wrapped up in other less obvious places. I’m super excited to read more of your writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reflective, honest, and true to character. Your kids (biological and otherwise) are so lucky to have you. YOU are a difference-maker. Your desire to push forward and improve yourself professionally/personally is admirable and everyone around you will reap the benefits. Humility is hard to find in a culture so driven by individual success & I strongly believe that it is the exact reason why you are already making such a difference. So it goes. Keep it up, Mr. Hren. Don’t worry- I can help remind you to post these every day. I have like 3 calendars. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You crack me up! Thanks for calling out the BS that exists in education and showing us what really matters. The Google Doc meeting about using Google Docs…hysterical. I wish my keyboard had emojis!


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