The past few weeks have been emotional and stressful at work. So many new changes coming. 3rd Grade Reading Guarantee. Ohio Teacher Evaluation System. Words that make me cringe. That make me get a lump in my throat. Knots in my stomach. When will our students ever be told they're good enough? When will WE as teachers ever be told we're good enough? I thought to myself, "What DOCTOR is evaluated on how many of their patients die?" Regardless of whether or not it was their time. Regardless if their patient came to them when it was too late. Regardless of whether or not the damage had already been done. Regardless of whether or not their patients followed their advice and took care of themselves. Why are we singled out? So. much. pressure.
The past couple of weeks, I'm not going to lie. I have questioned whether or not this is the profession for me. It is so unappreciated. So many strings attached. While we have the chance to work miracles, sometimes they're just that. Miracles. Our kids come from different situations that are beyond our control. I take it to heart that I'm supposed to undo all the wrongs. All the neglect. All the learning disabilities. All the things that are completely beyond my control. I just want to grab the faces of all my little cherubs and say, "Ya know what, sweetheart? You ARE enough. I know this is hard. I know you're scared. I know you're nervous. I know it doesn't make sense. But we will make the best of your time with me and do what we can. But darling, you ARE enough." Even when the state says they're not.
I want to cry as I write this.
I can't help but to think my life would be easier and less stressful if I just exited the world of education. When will I ever be enough? So "Accomplished" is unattainable. Good job, you've made me feel like I'll never cut it. I'll never be enough for you. Now I know how our kids feel. And it hurts my soul.
Now you have teachers who argue, bicker, and call each other names because of how "good" or "bad" they are. Once again, good job, state. Talking with my father (he had a few choice words to say about all this), but he mentioned that the people in charge think they're "motivating" us by creating these lofty goals for us and our students. His words were, "These legislators and big wigs think that unless they're behind us with a big stick, we won't be motivated to do better. But the truth is that they have the opposite effect. It makes us less motivated and only stresses us out."
I think it's sad that so many of us are feeling like what is one of the most rewarding jobs just isn't worth it anymore.
I've had my good days and bad days this week. Times of positive emotions. Times of frustration.
Maybe we'll never change the way we're asked to do things. Maybe we'll never be trusted to use the education we received. Maybe we'll never be trusted to make the right decision for our students. Maybe our principals will never be trusted to do what's right for their school and find good teachers. Or let go of ones who aren't doing their job.
But tonight I had some thoughts that were comforting. If we leave our kids, then who will help see them through? Don't say that someone else could do it. God put YOU where YOU are for a REASON. Those kids who come to school hungry. Those kids who have parents who go out and socialize with friends every night and just give their kids "stuff" so they don't have to spend time with them. They need YOU. Not the teacher next door. Not the substitute. Not the new teacher looking for a job. Oh, don't worry...there are kids who need those people. But your students need YOU. God knows what He's doing. You have what that child needs.
And when you're feeling down because of what other people think, just remember to do what you love. If you love it, it won't matter what other people think. It doesn't make it any easier to be treated poorly, but as long as you love what you do when you're in that classroom, you're in the right spot.
A blogging friend tonight told me the best thing ever. She said, "Just keep rocking it. Besides, give them a little break - it would be a little intimidating to work with such a rockstar. ;)" By NO means am I some superstar teacher. But I do strive to think of new things and do things that I think will work best for my students. But the point is, we should be each other's cheerleaders, not naysayers! PLEASE give props where props are due. Encourage your teammates. Remember we'll all different. We aren't cookie cutter teachers. That would be kind of boring and wouldn't be good for the students. I love how diverse our team is because there's a teacher for each type of child. We all have such different personalities and ways of doing things. It's a good thing! But don't criticize your neighbors. There are kids who need them, just like there are kids who need you.
And with teachers who struggle, find ways to encourage them. Don't snub them.
Ladies and gents, we were called to do what we do. I don't know about you when you were little, but I was taught never to quit in the middle of something just because it's too hard.
Let's be a living example to our families and students of that principle.
I pray you have a good week and hang in there! We are in this together. We're all under the same pressure. We all deal with similar things. Let's love each other and encourage as much as possible. When the tough gets going, friends come together and love each other through the thing!!!!
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