I spent part of my day at a job fair, along with various others from my district, in hopes of finding the next great educators to join our team. Hiring season is always an interesting time and it causes administrators like myself to really reflect on those qualities that make for quality educators, mentors, and leaders. The comical part of the day was that I spent my time with another administrator talking about how much we miss the classroom. Administration work is not always the "fun" work and we don't always get the opportunities to build relationships with learners like we did when we saw them every day (or every other day on a block). We both miss teaching so much that my colleague confessed to me her plans to go back to the classroom eventually and I confessed to her my plans to hopefully find a way to team teach one of my favorite classes of all time, AP Psychology. You know what they say: you can take the teacher out of the classroom...
It takes a lot to be an educator, especially a public school one. And while there are so many voices out there that work to lift us up and to thank us for the work that we do, the voices of those who choose to do the opposite often feel louder; when your life's work is to build up young people, it can really tear you down to hear those who think that you are never doing enough. As the wife of a private school educator, I know life isn't always easy there either and we spend a lot of time at home talking about how our issues are different, but they still exist. The work is real, valuable, and challenging no matter how a learner ends up at your door.
So today, I want to share with you the heart of a teacher as we go into this Teacher Appreciation Week. I find it somewhat cruel that Teacher Appreciation Week also happens to fall on a major End of Course Exam week in the State of Texas, but maybe that just highlights one of the many reasons that teachers are made of some pretty tough stuff. Even though weeks like this can be deflating spending hours proctoring tests, and even though our worth as educators may be judged on a single day's scores... we still show up... every day.
I don't know that I can speak for every teacher, but I'll at least speak from my experience on a few truths:
- Every day is better because we know your child.
- Even when a learner turns out to be more like a 500 piece puzzle instead of that easy 10 piece we were hoping for, we still love your kid. Somehow, we will figure it out together.
- If we can make your child's day, year, and life better because of what they learned in our room, it will be the greatest gift you could ever give us.
Thank you for the honor of being "teacher".