A Tired Teacher
Teachers are the most selfless and hardworking people I know. We are also the most questioned, sometimes disrespected, and often underpaid. We all know that one does not get into this career for the money; we do it for the love of the kids, the love of living a life dedicated to service. Serving, inspiring, teaching and loving the new generations. Making a difference.
I come from a culture where teachers are “considered to be close prophets” in our day and age. I have always thought that the proverb was exaggerated. I got to thinking about prophecy, and what it means. The foretelling or prediction and instructions of things to come. A message of divine truth, with divine guidance. Basically, we are messengers with a higher calling. We are chosen people with a gift to pass down the teaching we have received.
This is to say, this holiness I am describing doesn’t feel as magical these days, or actually ever. Many of us are leaving the profession, causing shortages, and causing more work for the ones who decide to stay. Teaching, planning, grading, counseling, crowd controlling, traffic directing, fight stopping, and always being that safe space for your kids when all is said and done.
I can’t help but wonder: are we really thought to be these super humans, these prophets with super powers? Many of us have no issues with doing all of this, because we serve our students the best we can. The problem remains the lack of help, resources, and respect from the people who make the rules, and regulate what we do, and decide how we are compensated.
The people making the decisions know how dedicated we are, and how it is for any teacher to make that decision to walk away. It’s not just a job. You can’t just walk in not feeling well, and make it work. You can’t have mental struggles and feel any feelings once you get to work. you can’t just be sad when you’re feeling sad, or be quiet and retreat in order to protect your mental space. You definitely can’t just decide to quit, and put in a 2 week notice.
We check our feelings and aches at the door, put our best foot forward and happiest faces forward, and live with crippling guilt when the thought of leaving our students without a teacher occurs.
We have made so many adjustments the past two years, and kept working and teaching and inspiring at a distance, doing the best with what we have. We were suddenly appreciated when students had to learn virtually. Although short lived, we loved being noticed and given some credit for once.
We are now back. Back to real school, more mental struggles, same expectations, not to say a little more from teachers. We do what we do because we love to do it, and can’t imagine not being there for our kids, for your kids. If you see or know a teacher, please be kind. We are tired, struggling, and trying our best to be present for your kids.
Send supplies, send thank you notes, be patient. Times are hard, even for prophets. Give a little bit of your love to us.