So here’s what I know with absolute, crystal clear certainty: we cannot give what we don’t have.
We can’t love others if we don’t feel loved.
We can’t truly appreciate others if we feel unappreciated.
And we certainly can’t authentically teach our kids about healthy self-esteem if we have none of our own.
Yet I’d venture to guess that the majority of teachers today feel unappreciated and “less-than” not only in the classroom, but as people. Thing is, we’re all human; even though the kids in a classroom think that a teacher is just a teacher, as adults we know that teachers are also parents, siblings, daughters, sons, wives, husbands, partners, friends, and about a million and one other titles.
Each and every one of those roles impacts the teacher. A teacher’s personal life—good, bad and in-between—impacts his or her classroom. Why do so many people forget that?
Because I’ve been in the classroom, I get it. I know that, even though being a teacher is more than a job—it’s a passion, a mission, a calling—it’s also just one of the many jobs we all juggle in our days, weeks and years.
I’ve also built a career outside the classroom. You know what “they” say about hindsight being 20/20? It’s true. I can see things about more clearly now that I don’t spend my days right in the thick of it anymore. I’d never—NEVER—tell you that I know exactly what you’re dealing with in the minutia of your day, because when I’m not there I can’t. But I do know the ebbs and flows of teaching. I know the push and pull of being a teacher. And I know that none of us can do it alone.
That’s why I want to focus on you at least one day a week here on this blog. Yes, YOU. Not your classroom. Not your kids. Not your lessons. YOU. Because no matter what other tools or resources or platitudes others can share, the bottom line is that you cannot give what you don’t have.
I hope you’ll come back and let me play a small part in filling your bucket. I can’t promise to make everything perfect (we’re both adults, right? We know better). But I can promise that I see you as more than a teacher. I see you as a person. A person who willingly chooses one of the most difficult, rewarding, maddening, exhausting, exhilarating professions and who needs to be seen for more than a title.
Thank you. You are loved. You are appreciated. You are amazing.