As a child I never knew teachers were just as excited as students for breaks. And as a teacher, I’m still understanding that students sense a break coming just as much as we do. It’s like they want to make sure we deserve the break. After the last two weeks I’ve experienced, I can say I deserve it.
I’ve been hit, talked to crazy, yelled at, picked up crying 9 year old’s, broken up fights before 7:30am, had to ride the school bus so my student would get on, failed to get another on the school bus who simply refused, stayed way past 5pm to get done what didn’t get done, remained calm as my student experienced what felt like 35 different emotions in the span of an hour, and I kept showing up. Unfortunately, this is not a unique experience. Teachers and administrators who work in environments similar to mine will echo similar stories, if not worse. And on top of everything we’ve had to deal with, we’re still faced with the responsibility to teach.
Someone asked my principal how he was doing because of all the craziness we had been dealing with and his response was, “I’m good. This is what I signed up for.” Back in May I discussed what it took to teach at my school and how I chose to work where I work and I’ve had to remind myself of this choice these past two weeks. I’ve had to tell myself these students still need to learn to add and subtract and sound out unfamiliar words and write a sentence. They still need me to do my job in spite of having to do a million and one other things that aren’t in the job description. I’ll never get paid enough or receive the recognition others may think I’m worthy of, but I assure you no one goes into this profession for the money or fame. You do it because you think you can help a child be better than they are today. It literally brings tears to my eyes knowing I won’t be able to help them all but it won’t be because I didn’t try.
I would prefer not to endure more weeks similar to the last two, but I’m committed to showing up and trying even if they are. I’m also committed to self-care and making sure I’m well so I can show up as the best version of myself which means enjoying every moment of this break. After all, like my principal said, this is what I signed up for.
Shameless plug: If you are wanting to show a teacher you appreciate them and the work they do, consider donating to my project to help my students get laptops. Part of my job is to teach my students how to navigate in the world outside of the classroom which involves knowing how to interact with technology. Your donations will help me do this. Thanks in advance! https://www.donorschoose.org/project/the-world-at-our fingertips/4318295/?utm_source=dc&utm_medium=directlink&utm_campaign=teacherhub&utm_term=teacher_5173652&rf=directlink-dc-2019-11-teacherhub-teacher_5173652&challengeid=21140514
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me