I know that I take a light-hearted approach to my job on this blog. I talk about Mike Mann and his know it all attitude. I joke about retiring, and not writing because it came close to actually happening. The truth is, though, that I am very intense about my job. I have a responsibility to teach kids. I recognize that they are at a tough age to work with, but I have always found a way to believe that the kids were better off with me being there as a teacher. Today was not one of those days. I’ve been told to “let it slide off my shoulders,” and I know I should. I can’t. I am too passionate about my subject matter and too passionate about my kids to be able to take a day like today and forget it. That’s not good for me. It’s not good for my health. It’s not good for my relationship with my wife. I get frustrated when kids don’t take advantage of their opportunities. I can’t deal with outright disrespect. What’s even worse is when other kids laugh at the kid or kids showing that disrespect. That cuts deeply because they’re participating in the disrespect. Kids that I’ve sweated over. Kids that I’ve cared for. They’d rather have a cheap laugh than develop themselves than to show respect. Our kids overall are making great strides. The job we have is even tougher than ever when we deal with kids who refuse to show respect. What they fail to realize is that they are disrespecting themselves most of all. That’s what bothers me. They have so much opportunity and they won’t take advantage of it. I’m going to have to find a way to deal with it effectively, or I’m going to have to re-evaluate where I am in my career. If kids aren’t better because I’m there, I shouldn’t be there. That’s when the retirement issues come into play. Last week those thoughts waited until Wednesday, and even then they weren’t too intense. This week…already highly intense….praying for changes.