I’ve been thinking about the struggles we face as teachers a lot lately. I read more and more stories from teachers who are burnt out, tired, frustrated and stressed. Oh so much stress. I bet most of us never anticipated the amount of stress we face on a daily basis. Every year things get harder. More disrespect from students (and parents), more restrictions on what we can teach and when, more directives, rules and procedures sent down from the district. I think back to myself and wonder “Was there EVER a time I got to teach how and what I wanted to?”
I am in a unique position as an educator. I am in daily contact with teachers from around the world on my Facebook page. On this page I hear your stories, your struggles, and your stresses. I hear your frustrations, your fears, and your fatigue. But I also hear something else.
I hear your triumphs.
I hear your small wins with a student that lead to huge gains.
I hear your conviction.
I want you to know something. I hear you. I see you. YOU MATTER.
When it feels like you are overworked and underpaid (and you are), remember that I see you. I see you worrying, on your way to and from work, about that one student who just can’t seem to grasp their math facts. I see you laminating and cutting out center pieces while watching Netflix at 11:00 p.m., knowing you should go to bed, but also relishing working in the quiet of the night. I see you put your head down and sigh during a faculty meeting where yet another “fabulous” progress monitoring tool is going to be implemented in your school on Monday.
I also see you rise.
I see you square your shoulders and set your jaw, determined to make it work. I see you decide that despite everything, you will do whatever you can to help your students.
I see you. I hear you.
What you do every single day matters. YOU matter. When the days are tough and the hours are long remember this: your students see you too. They hear your enthusiasm and see your desire to help them. They hear you talking to them with consideration, kindness, and compassion. They see you working hard every. single. day.
Thank you for letting me a part of your journey.