I can’t help myself. I feel terrible, conflicted. Guilty. Perhaps not for the reasons you might think, though.
Oh, there are ALL the reasons why teachers like me feel pushed and pulled across the emotional spectrum. Just look at the world around us. We’re crouched right at the center of societal conflict: COVID. Race. Gender. Safety. Freedom. Obligation. Add to that the twin pressures of bringing healing to our students and moving ahead in a business-as-usual fashion. Test scores, as you may know, never sleep.
Find me a teacher who is doing the job they signed up for.
Heck. Find me ANYONE who is doing the job they signed up for.
I look at my colleagues, both in my district and beyond. So much struggle and difficulty.
Which is where the guilt comes in.
Right now, I love my students.
I love my job.
I’m excited to teach.
My kids bring me energy in a way I haven’t felt in a long time.
We’re doing some cool stuff.
Sometimes, I just look at them working and interacting.
And I beam.
My heart swells, crackles. Cracks open.
These kids bring me wonder, astonishment.
I’m eager for the day when we’re all breathing in this air once more, when all of us sigh at the end of the day – not with exhaustion and disappointment, but satisfaction, contentment. Joy.
We. All. Deserve. More. JOY.
Until then, I will use these days, these bright moments to fuel me for the times when discouragement and stress threaten to overtake me. I will hope beyond hope that my colleagues will collect moments of light, like sticky notes, to take and fashion into something beautiful, hopeful.
Post-script: realizing that both of my posts this week have been tied to the theme of light. Sometimes metaphor pulls our strings without us even noticing. Touche, Chanukah. Touche.