Thank you for your service. I say this with the utmost sincerity and openness now as a parent and as a partner in my child's learning. We fail you guys. Sometimes we get upset. Sometimes we accuse you of not doing your best. Believe me, I’ve been on the receiving end of that conversation. Forgive those of us who falsely accuse you. Some of us believe that enabling our children is advocacy when it's not. No hard feelings. We think we know what's best because we made this person. We see them everyday but in all actuality it's those of you who closely observe our kids and see that they are actually capable of so much more than even we their parents could know. Growth takes time. Keep believing in us. Keep pushing us. Parents can learn too.
I know some of you will spend the summer relaxing but mostly reflecting. Mostly thinking of how to improve this or that lesson. Thinking of how you may or may not have reached this or that child. How a parent may have misunderstood your intent. How wonderful it was to see your pupils flourish under your tutelage. How excited you are for a well deserved break that gets you ready to go back and face the music one more time. The summer is your TV timeout and you’ll be back at it again fighting the lack of knowledge and playing defense against all the uncontrollables you face as an educator all while attempting to take your classroom to their championship season in test scores and IEP improvement remarks. People think you slack off. Maybe they don't realize that after a long day of teaching, and training, and engaging, and exciting minds... you go into team meetings, professional review meetings, professional development opportunities, athletic coaching or extracurricular club activities, grading papers and then home to your own families who want and need you. You earned this short time to bandage your wounds, wipe the sweat and grab a swig of water before facing another school year.
Thank you for your service. Even with the pressure of test scores and professional scrutiny, many of you find a way to keep that lightbulb going off. Many of you find a way to sneak your creativity into a lesson. Many of you find a way to make the “teaching to the test” include some experiential life skill mojo… You get 180 days to make an impact and you leave a lifetime of an impression on thousands of children over your career. Maybe one day we will begin to realize that your contributions are essential to the survival of our society.... More than bankers or doctors or talking heads or celebrities or politicians... You once made these people think about the possibility of their own future selves. That means something… Thanks for keeping hope from dying. Thanks for all you do.
An imperfect and appreciative parent-learner
I'm a former teacher and former college athlete, currently working to make life more equitable for all people. My mission is to get parents to partner with their child's teacher.