Can I get a TGIF – thank goodness it’s Friday?
This week has left me drained and discouraged. My teacher heart is in major need of grace and reassurance in order to trudge through the remaining 8 days (8 DAYS!!) of my school year. I wrote the letter I needed to read in hopes that there are a few other teachers out there who need to hear the same thing.
Happy Friday and congratulations! Congratulations on another week of teaching and learning, on a full five days of lessons and standards, on speaking kind and gentle words when you felt like screaming and yelling, on getting through the week without pulling out every last strand of your hair.
Do me a favor and celebrate on this Friday night. Shake the dust outta your teacher soul and spend time doing something that brings you joy and life. Sip a glass of wine or a cupa’ tea. Settle yourself into a good book or gather your people around for a movie night. Give it all ya got to a dance party in the living room or, heck, crawl right into bed and stay there until Saturday comes around.
Goodness knows you have earned it.
I’m writing to give you the dose of encouragement I think you might be needing as the end of the school year draws near, your energy wanes, and your students run wild.
Teacher, I see you take a deep breathe when your most difficult student yells at you and calls you cranky after you have given the same instruction half a dozen times. I am endlessly inspired by your grit and determination to be a steady adult in the lives of the young people who don’t have too much steady in their world. What you are doing matters. You are making a difference in a million ways you cannot see.
I see how it sometimes hurts you more than it hurts your students when you have to discipline. You work hard every single day to earn the trust and respect of your students and to challenge them to become individuals who believe themselves to be smart and strong and worthy and who treat those around them with kindness and respect. That journey requires tough conversations and firm consequences. Every action is thoughtful and intentional, seeking to bring out the best in the little people around you. Keep drawing the line in the sand, setting high expectations, and demanding integrity and growth.
Teacher, I see you come home from school, ready to collapse into bed and close to tears. You give all of yourself to love well, and you are beautiful for that, even when the day leaves you ragged and worn.
I see you provide a pencil before you are asked. I see you making sure your kiddos eat, take their medicine, and bring home that big assignment. I see you answer the same question 13 times with patience and grace. I see you care for your students in a million different ways, cry because your kids are hurting, listen to the small details that are really the big details when you are five or nine or thirteen. I see your teacher heart: so glorious and big and beating so hard for the little people who populate your world.
From one tired teacher heart to another, you are more amazing than you know. Thank you for all you do every day when you walk in the front door of your school. As the school year winds down, I pray for abundant energy and patience to carry you through the last weeks.