To all the teachers, this post is for you. In fact, I have sat here with my fingers motionless on the keypad stuck in writers block because I want to make this perfect for you. I want to tell you, “Thank you!” Or wish you, “Good luck!” Or I even thought of “You are a difference maker!” While those sentiments are true, they are all too cliché.
As a former teacher, I hated how FLUFFY the world made my job out to be. When I told someone, “I am a teacher,” they’d tilt their head, smile, and say “Awe, that’s great!” It was as though they pictured me in a plaid wool skirt, apple sweater, pencil above my ear, and a pull-string out of my back with the words, “Great job,” “Way to go,” and “You’re a star” repeating out of my mouth. If they only knew!
If they only knew about the twenty pound bag of work I brought home with me every night. If they only knew the amounts of paperwork I had to write, read, sign, file and save. If they only knew the emails I answered. The phone calls I made. If they only knew the number of books I read, articles I researched, or notes I made. If they only knew the amount of worry that consumed me each night. “Will he eat?” “Will her parents acknowledge her?” “Will he make it?” If they only knew how much I beat myself up. “Why did I say that?” “That didn’t work well.” “Why can’t I reach them?”
If they only knew how hard I had to argue for my profession. To tell those Suits in fancy shoes to “Man-up” and actually step inside a classroom and walk in my shoes before they tell me how to do my job. If they only knew how hard I fought for my kids. Like any profession, there are hoops to jump through, and man I jumped… and jumped… and jumped.
It’s emotional. It’s personal. It’s L.O.V.E.
What the world frosts over is that teaching is anything but fluffy. Teaching is hard. Teaching is exhausting. Teaching is selfless and humbling. Teaching is never-ending W.O.R.K. Anyone that thinks any different should be sent to detention.
So to you, Teacher, keep writing. Keep reading. Keep up with your homework. It is what makes you dependable. Keep communicating. It’s what makes you relatable. Keep researching. Keep learning. It is what makes you smart. Please keep worrying. Keep reflecting. I know it weighs on you, but it is what keeps you relevant.
Teacher, keep arguing. Keep defending your profession. The world needs to know what you know. Don’t hide it from them. Lastly, KEEP JUMPING. Please, Teacher, keep jumping for those kids. They may not appreciate it, and they may not even be aware of all your blood, sweat, and tears, but jump any way. It’s what makes you a teacher.
To all you teachers, my most sincere, THANK YOU! I pray you have a fabulous school year.
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