If I had a dime for every time someone said, I don’t know how you do what you do, I would no longer need my teacher salary.
Some people call teachers saints. Some call teachers crazy. Some call us gluttons for punishment.
I call it something else.
I believe we’re #teacherstrong.
#teacherstrong is being a CEO. It is running a company comprised of numerous different franchises, with countless specific needs, all demanding your attention.
It’s being told exactly how to run your company and what the results need to be. It’s having no expense account, or private office, or generous salary that makes sense for managing such numerous and important responsibilities.
It’s knowing this, and doing it anyway.
#teacherstrong is performing. It is being an actor on a stage all day long. It is keeping your composure no matter what, and not breaking character when you want to scream, or cry, or quit.
Some days your performance is mesmerizing, and your show is nearly perfect. Other days, the audience heckles, laughs or ignores you. Sometimes they say disrespectful things. Other times they talk over you as if your performance isn’t even happening.
And still, your show must go on.
#teacherstrong is loving some kids so much, you wish you could take them home. It’s listening to their stories and knowing they’ve experienced more than any child should. It’s being strong for them when your own heart is breaking. It’s letting them cry on your shoulder and wiping their tears.
#teacherstrong is spending all day in one room. It is eating lunch in fifteen minutes and leading your class through a day scheduled down to the minute. It is putting the needs of many before your own, and forgoing all sense of privacy.
#teacherstrong is coming to work sick, or bringing your own sick child to work with you, because writing down everything you do in a day, for someone else to follow, is impossible.
#teacherstrong is the strength you summon on the days you feel totally defeated. When the students aren’t listening, and admin isn’t responding, and you are dangerously close to letting a room of ten-year-old’s see you cry.
#teacherstrong is coming back to school after you did cry. It is being evaluated and told your teaching “meets standards,” but doesn’t warrant a raise. It is holding your head high and letting people see that you too, are only human.
#teacherstrong is digging deep inside yourself for a drop of motivation when you are completely depleted. It is being patient when you have no patience left to give, and smiling when you really don’t feel like it.
#teacherstrong is going home after a day that has totally consumed you. It is facing your own family when you have nothing left. It is praying for forgiveness when the house is a mess, and dinner is take out, and you fall asleep before your own children go to bed.
#teacherstrong is instant camaraderie with anyone else who does this job. It is not having to explain the details, knowing other teachers understand. It is the laughter you need and the quiet you want. Its reminding each other why we are here.
#teacherstrong is an assignment from God. Of all the schools or classrooms in the universe, you’ve been placed in this particular one. You’ve been assigned to exactly these students at exactly this time. There is a reason your students have been entrusted to your care.
#teacherstrong is always remembering that.