I hope you look at your student, frantic with explanations and remember, you are someone’s hero.
It is that time of year again. The black hole between winter and spring break. The ominous vortex of half read emails, after school meetings that seem to last decades, and Murphy’s law awakening from his winter long hibernation with a vengeance.
Squirrelly students begin to forget yearlong expectations and routines, itching for the first warm day of spring…and we are all….tired. Very. Tired. We have been reminding students about homework, calling parents, differentiating, accommodating, and modifying all year long, seemingly to no avail. And on a Tuesday morning when your second period student runs up to you and before greeting you the words, “I forgot my project at home but…” sprays out of his mouth like shaken soda, the fingertips of defeat creep up the back of your neck simultaneously creating frustration and tension. There is a moment – sandwiched between your student’s perfectly rehearsed excuse and your mouth preparing to reiterate that per the newsletter explaining the project sent home three weeks prior – where you question your life choices and wonder if it is all really worth it. I am here to say, yes.
This is the time of the year that our energy drops. So, I want to remind my fellow teachers of something important: You are someone’s hero.
This is for teachers who are feeling like robotic broken records drill and killing the same mantras into their students, hoping they will internalize the importance of study skills and homework. This is for the teachers that stay late to make copies and to lesson plan, to cut out manipulatives and organize centers. This is for the teachers that come to school early and reorganize libraries and supply closets for the fourth time this week. This is for the teachers who collapse on Friday nights after spending their planning period promising themselves plans of having a social life. This is for the teachers that come back, every day. That show up to work tired and stressed and overworked and frustrated. This is for teachers who plan beautiful lessons with technology, only to arrive at school and the internet is down- forcing them to improvise their lesson in 20 minutes after spending a good bit of the morning attempting to fix said technology. This is for the teachers sitting in their classrooms, after everyone else has gone home, grading papers because their kids need the feedback. When you are standing in front of that student, as they relay ALL the reasons why they just COULDN’T finish their homework and for that millisecond that the poisonous question seeps into your mind, “Why am I doing this?” I hope you look at your student, frantic with explanations and remember, you are someone’s hero.