How was your weekend? I know a lot of teachers are coming off of or going into Fall Break, if they are lucky enough to have that where they teach. Mine is this week, so I am starting a three-day school week.
So how are you doing this year? From talking to people and my feedback through the blog, it sounds like many teachers are having a rough year. What about you? How is it going?
This year has been good, rough, and just plain interesting for me. I don’t think you would believe half of the stories that I can already tell just from the 2014-2015 school year. I can tell you that I am worn out, tired, and a little beat-up. I know that I am making progress with my students, don’t get me wrong, I am just exhausted.
I have a feeling that you might just feel the same way. For that reason, today’s post will be a special one. I haven’t done one of these in a long while, but I think it is time to dust off the Theme Song Post.
If you are new to this blog, you might be wondering, “What is that?”
I pick a theme song for you to listen to while you read the rest of the post. I hope that it serves as a theme song for your day or week. It usually sticks with me for the whole week when I do these.
Anyway, click play and then read on…
Teacher, you do one of the most noble, yet challenging, jobs in the entire world.
Unfortunately, it feels more challenging that noble most of the time.
First of all, you work with a room full of students everyday (or several groups of students throughout each day). That is a challenge in of it self. You have to know your students. You have to know what they need. You have to figure out how to get them to work together. You have to get them to learn how to learn. You have to teach them specific content. You have to…well, you get the point. This would be a list the size of the internet if I put everything that you need to do on this level of teaching.
Add to that, you have to deal with student issues, behaviors, and struggles. You have students with bad days. You have students who don’t get along. You have students who have IEPs. You have students that are ESOL. You have students with BIPs. You have students that come from environments that do not reinforce what you are teaching. You have students who are lacking the skills with which they should have had before getting to you. You have students who need to learn some social skills that are lacking. You have students who can’t sit still. You have students on multiple levels of abilities. You have students who don’t care. You have students that care too much. You have a thousand other specifics here. You have more than a handful of things to think about besides what you teach at any given moment.
On top of all of this, you have voices and critics from the outside. There is administration telling you how to teach and not teach. You have teams and other teachers giving advice on how you can better reach your students. You have parents giving you feedback on what they feel like you are doing wrong. You have district level people changing the expectations for you left and write. You have the state making curriculum changes that wildly affect the students that sit in your classroom. You have an ever changing landscape of standards to muddle through. You have the world of education with the ever-growing list of best practices, current theories/strategies, and 21st century skills that you just have to incorporate into your classroom and instruction. You have a million different directions that you are being asked to go everyday.
And then there is you.
In your classroom.
With your students.
And you are awesome.
In all of this, you chose to have one focus, and one focus only.
You know that it is those young minds that matter most.
And you make it work.
You do everything that you can do to protect your students from all of the other stuff. You are the umbrella that covers them. You are the shield. You are their cover from the mess all around them and you.
Teacher, you try your best to be bullet-proof.
But it is not for you,; it is for them.
I want to encourage you, friend. You are doing the right thing by focusing on the students before all else. You are making good choices. You are making a difference.
I know that it is hard. It is really, really, really hard sometimes. But keep going. Keep fighting. Keep doing what you do.
It is difficult to be made of titanium, but sometimes you have to be. I know that you know that it will be worth it for those students sitting in your desks in your room. Don’t give up. Don’t stop. You are an amazing teacher! I mean that. I really do!
You are so awesome! You don’t always feel that way, but it is so very true. You do what needs to be done for students. This is why you are a great teacher. Don’t forget that! Never stop! Keep on teaching, Teacher!