Teacher Friends, Don't Give Up


You hear it all the time, it's not anything new. So why is nothing being done?

Teachers are tired. They are stressed. They are overwhelmed and under appreciated. And lately, I've been hearing teachers tear each other down. My teacher heart is aching. We are each other's biggest support system and if we start to attack one another, we really don't have a fighting chance.

So teacher friends, this one is for you.

I know you are tired. You are worn out from the last 5 months. Five months of complaining parents, whining children, nagging administration. Five months of school concerts, PTO events, and long after school hours. Five months of lesson plans that you rewrite six times because you aren't sure your littles got it. Five months of struggling and feeling like no one has your back.

I do. I know how you are feeling. I've been there. And while I may not be the most experienced, year-wise, I know what it is like to struggle. Three years into this job and I still come home 80% of the time and cry because it is just too much. The pressure from administration, the expectations of parents, the desire to have every child soar in your class. It is too much.

But when you feel that way, I want you to remember something. You became a teacher for a reason. It was a calling. It may have been the first and only calling you've ever had. I'm right there with you. I knew from the time I was in first grade that I was going to be a teacher. I wanted to teach kids to read and to solve math problems. I wanted to be my teachers; they were angels. You are an angel.

Maybe teaching is a calling that came to you later. You were working a desk job in a bank and just knew that wasn't for you. You knew that you needed to do something more with your life. Something extremely special. You felt it in your heart that teaching was the place for you.

Regardless of how you got here, there is one thing we all have in common. We don't do this for the new laws, for the administration and policies. We don't do this for the curriculum, the cute books about penguins, or the color-coded bins. We don't do this for numerous teacher mugs or the pretty flair pens that sit on our disorganized desks. We don't even do this for the parents and their sixty-two demands. Nope.

We do this for the kids.

My littles are my reason. They are my reason to get out of bed every day, my 22 reasons. And I hope they are yours as well. You do this job for them. You do this job to see the excitement on that struggling readers face when he finally gets through one page without missing a word. You do this for the good morning hugs after a long weekend. You do this for the 22 stickers on Chapter 2 math tests because everyone got a passing score. You do this for the happy dance moments when your top readers surpass their goal. You do this for the love of learning that you get to pass on each day by getting excited over a messy classroom that shows everyone learned something new today - even if that something new was just how to tie a shoe!

Teacher friends, you are amazing. You are the light in someone's life. You are the reason a child comes to school every day, not afraid that they will be ridiculed for messing something up.

I know it's hard. I know you are tired and you have probably thought this year is the end. But I promise you, it gets better! There are days that it better. Live for those days, and don't give up hope. You are doing the right thing and your students love you for it.

I adore you and all that you give to the lives of others. Remember, without you, no other profession would be possible. I encourage you to drink some coffee, put on some gangster rap, and just handle business. (or drink all the coffee, put on that classroom Pandora playlist, and give your all to your students).


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