I’m up late tonight (very late for a teacher). I’m not up late for good things, but honestly my brain can’t (or won’t) shut off. The past few weeks have been so hard. I see all my teacher friends posting about testing and the end of the year approaching. But I wonder. Does the world actually know what and who a teacher is? Do you know?
My brain is constantly turning anyways, but tonight, all I’m thinking about is my students. They don’t leave the teacher just because the teacher leaves work. That school comes home with us, whether we like it or not. Whether we work our tails off to make sure that doesn’t happen.
I’m not a mom or a wife or a girlfriend. Yet. I can’t imagine how any teacher who isn’t single, function. I don’t have much left after the work day is over. I don’t have enough for my own friends. Let alone a man or a child at home.
I think about my students and what’s going on in their lives whether they spoke it or not. It’s a blessing and a curse. I care greatly, but that is also my downfall. But I know I’m not alone. I have a close friend who is a 5th grade teacher. Do you know what we talk about when we talk? Teaching. Testing. Students. Education. I’ve also talked to her when she hasn’t left her classroom until 7:00 at night. Her school gets out at 3:30.
I’ve started a piece of paperwork for school a half an hour after I was supposed to leave. I’ve been stuck in a classroom with the same students for hours because of testing, codes, weather warnings.
There really is no order to this post because my brain is not in order. My brain is mush as I lay here wide awake, knowing that tomorrow, my students will be waiting for me. They are going to be ready to ask me questions (on topic or not). Their eyes are going to search me to see if I really care, even though I’ve proved it over and over again.
I hear people say to me that teachers are important, should get paid more, blah blah blah. You know what the sad part is? Besides the fact that’s it true. Our society does NOT value teachers the way they should. You know how I know that to be true? Well, first off, I am a teacher. Second off, look at how teachers are treated. We are judged by our students ability to take a test. We are always the ones wrong when a child fails something.
Everyone agrees that teachers are important but NO ONE is doing anything to make a difference. Still business men (and women) and politicians are forcing these ridiculous standards and assessments down our throats in order to make more money. That doesn’t go to the schools. It goes in their pockets.
Now some of you may say, well teachers need to stand up for themselves. My question to you, with what time? For those teachers who don’t work year round (unlike me), their summers are barely summers. Let’s remember, doctor visits, times with family, trainings, professional development, packing and unpacking classrooms, everything has to be done in that time frame. It doesn’t add up.
Oh and if we protest? Who’s going to teach your children? Who is going to shape their minds? Who’s going to help them become who they are supposed to be???? I ask you, who but teachers can do this for our world?
I recently read something about how teachers are treated with honor and respect in other countries. I challenge you to ask yourself, does your country? Does your state? Does your community? Do you?
I ask and I write this because I need this off my chest. I’m tired. So very tired. But tomorrow, I will put that smile on my face. I will say good morning to every one of my students and call them pretty girl and sweetie, because they need that. They need to know that someone cares about them.
Teaching is my passion. My calling. I am so beyond grateful and blessed to be a teacher but it’s hard. It’s draining. I have accepted that certain things are beyond my control when it comes to my life being pretty dull outside of work. But I want to hear from teachers, from people about your thoughts on teaching. Your thoughts on teachers. Yes, we are not perfect. We are by no means perfect. But we care about your children. Can you care about us?