I am certain I don’t know how mothers and fathers teach for eight hours, coach sports another ninety minutes, and then come home to manage their domiciles, too!
After just two days in my substitute teaching career, I can tell you, teachers are severely underpaid and underappreciated.
The physical, mental and emotional fortitude blows me away.
Terazzo floors provide the hardest surface for 20,000 step journeys to each desk, repeatedly, end of room white boards, cafeteria, playground, bus stop, and then the same the next day, and the next.
Viruses, various parasites, tardiness, restlessness, and parents provide daily challenges causing the teacher to also be a nurse, a psychiatrist, a confidante, perhaps even a safe guardian during the school day.
My dear friend Julie, retired fourth grade teacher writes, “…you may be the only one who smiles and says kind words to them on any given day. My goal was to make each one feel like they matter every day.”
Amen, Julie. After meeting thirteen five year old kids and fourteen six year olds, I can tell you, everyone is navigating their own stories, trials, and battles–even the little ones.
At almost sixty, having had no children of my own, this has been an eye-opening experience. A reality I was never privy to directly, and one I will continue to learn from and pass along as much helping encouraging light as I can.
Everyone should volunteer inside a classroom, if only for a day. You’d be amazed at the reward of seeing the gifts that pour out and crave a little attention and positive connection. These small beings are simply in search of validation, just like us older folks.
#teaching #children #community #heartbreakinghomes #kidsaregifts #learning #classroom #patience #kindness