Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Teaching is hard.




Teaching is hard. No, wait. Let me rephrase that. Raising up twenty-seven 10- and 11-year-olds to be kind, responsible citizens is hard. Doing that makes adding and subtracting fractions with common denominators look like a piece of cake.

We make mistakes. (At least I do.) But hopefully, we also reflect, and talk to our unpaid counselors (brother, husband, friends), and come back the next day ready to do a better job.

This is year 36 for my tradition of making cookies for my class to decorate. And this year, I made the mistake of holding cooking decorating over their heads as if it is a reward for good behavior.

And it's not.

And it never has been.

Cookie decorating is a gift I give to my students. It's a gift of my talents and my heart. It has always been and always should be given with joy and love.

Like a parent, I must compartmentalize my disapproval of and frustration with a child's behavior, and my love for the child as a growing, learning young human. As an adult, I must model for my students how to criticize constructively while loving unconditionally.

I'll stop there, because I need to go iron my Pajama Day pajamas and get to work.


12 comments:

  1. Love this...and your dedication and that you give your students gifts including the gift of your reflected self. I'm inspired and energized by you this moment.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are human, like the rest of us. I'm ashamed to say I threw a pen across the room on Monday. I am determined to stay calm the rest of this week. It's a tough time for all of us. God bless your teacher heart.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mary Lee, thank you for this. Teachers deserve SO much respect and admiration,not because you're perfect, but because you're there. Day after day, year after year. Making mistakes, working miracles, and giving every kid a safe place and a chance to learn and grow. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have been short tempered and have said a few things I regret this past week. Thank you for this gift to your students, who will always remember the cookies and your love. And thank you for your story; we are not alone in our falling down, and we need not be alone in our getting up and trying again. Thank you. Hug. xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  5. You are clearly a wonderful teacher, Mary Lee. I'm not a teacher, but I appreciate the reminder as a parent. This is a very stressful time of year. Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh gosh, yes, teaching is hard, and life is hard and we all make mistakes and one of the things that makes you a wonderful teacher and person is your willingness to reflect on your teaching and admit you made a mistake and to go back tomorrow in your pajamas. I wish every kid could have a teacher like you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. All I can say is...<3...and that's all that matters.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is such an honest reflection. Thank you for sharing. Enjoy your PJ day and I hope the rest of your week passes peacefully!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Teaching is hard. Parenting is hard. Even grandparenting is hard at times. I lose/have lost patience now and then with students, my daughter, my granddaughters. You're only human, Mary Lee! Your students are fortunate to have you for a teacher.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The daily struggle is very real. We have a little break, we gain perspective, we regroup, we go again.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I admire you for being open about this, Mary Lee. Your post will help so many teachers to feel less alone. I feel like my worst teaching moments came when I was rigid and couldn't see the big picture.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Phew! Big truth here my friend!!!! This made me cry after a really, really hard week!

    ReplyDelete

We welcome your contribution to the conversation!