I’m faking it today. My cheerfulness, my excitement about teaching and learning, I’m faking it.

It’s been a very difficult few weeks. I’m writing this on February 11th, the one-year anniversary of the death of my grandpa. At the time, we couldn’t deal with the urn, and it turns out that was a good thing. The urn sat in a box in my Aunt’s house for nearly a year before Grandma joined him. Over the past three weeks, I dealt with the one-year anniversary of my Mom’s passing and then Grandma’s death. I took last Friday off from work to go to Ohio and lay Grandma and Grandpa to rest.

Through all of this, I’m dealing with additional personal pain that I’m not going to share in a public forum.

And then the alarm goes off, and I have to get ready for work.

I’m sharing all of this not looking for sympathy – well, maybe I am doing that too. The point I’m trying to make is this: right now I have to fake it.

I think an aspect of teaching that gets too little attention is acting. There is a lot of improvisation in what we do. On wonderful days, it’s about having the ability to follow our students’ curiosity off the day’s lesson plan to pursue different, but also important learning. Most days, it’s about following our students’ off-task behavior and guiding them back to the day’s lesson.

Sometimes, it’s about leaving our personal lives in the car as we make our way to the classroom. That’s me today.

I’m going to look happy to be here. I’m going to sound excited about history. I’m going to act like everything is OK.

I’m going to fake it.

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