It’s a Monday night- the Monday night after my personal day from school. If you didn’t know, or you aren’t a teacher, typically teachers get one or two personal days to use each year. These are to be used however we want and it’s so fun to choose that ONE day in hopes that it’ll be absolutely perfect. My day was amazing- spent with friends, family, and now writing- it just doesn’t get much better.
I’ve been praying for words for a few weeks. Just anything to fuel my heart. I’ve started six blog posts in May and this will be the only one that gets finished (so far)- and I think it’s because this is a message for all of us.
I’ve been seeing so many Facebook posts about parents who are sick of the school year- ready for packed schedules of little league games and babysitters and keeping kids occupied by the pool all summer long. Although that is all so fun, it isn’t every childs reality. And this is the part where the tears are cued.
If you hear a teacher describe a student in their class, you’ll probably hear the word “adorable” or “so sweet” even if they’re difficult or hard or running us out of energy. I’m still in this honeymoon phase of teaching where I love it so much that I leave every day feeling thankful beyond words and completely exhausted.
As I’ve watched the numbers dwindle over the past few weeks and as we’ve endured another school shooting, God has been speaking to my heart about the job that I and other teachers have in this season. You see, now with twelve and a half days left to go until summer break, I’m excited and devastated all in the same. I’ve been pondering if I’ve loved each dirty recess face enough. Wondered if I’ve been patient enough and gracious enough for each and every little heart that’s occupied a seat in my classroom this year. Every year feels different, but this year has felt especially sweet. And if you are a teacher, you know this to be true.
This year, twenty-seven squishy, big hearted kiddos have sat in my classroom, and have been taught by me, and my co-teacher, who I’m certain should receive a “Teacher of the Year” award. We have laughed abundantly, we have cried over a student who left mid-year, and rejoiced when we got a new student. But we have loved big. Love has been our anthem in third grade with a side of empathy and compassion. As exhausted as I am, I’m devastated to see this year go. Sad to watch some of my students leave our class or our school. Saddened that I may have made an impact, but maybe I didn’t some days and maybe those days are important to them, too. So with twelve days left of the year, here’s what I’ve got:
Parents, you are amazing. I know you’re exhausted and everything from packing lunches to the carpool line feels like the Hunger Games, but hang in there. Stick with us. Breathe deep and kiss your kiddo a bajillion times just because you can. Help us out by double checking dates on the calendar and looking through that folder or agenda for just eleven more evenings.
Teachers, you are amazing. You have given so much this year. You are hardly making it to Thursday and Friday feels like it’ll never come, but you’re doing the thing. The hard thing, the sweet thing, the glorious thing- and your rewards are so much more than a few days off this summer. I’m proud to be one of us. Proud to be making a difference in the world. Lets pray big, bold prayers for our kiddos for the next twelve days. Prayers that they stay safe, that they don’t lose their sh** every other second, and prayers that your love is enough to get them through the summer into a next year. Your job is so important and I want to squeeze each one of you, bring you Starbucks, and tell you that YOU CAN DO THIS. It feels impossible and you feel exhausted- but these kids are counting on you.
Students, you are amazing. You are the reason we’re doing what we’re doing. The reason we’re loving abundantly. We want you and care for you and can’t wait to crazy love you all next year!
As for me, I’m still devastated. Still longing for a few more laughs, a few more good morning hugs, and a lot more memories. This year has been my favorite. I’ve had incredible students and amazing families and have worked with the best staff. And luckily for me, I’m taking a big bundle of them with me to fourth grade next year- Lord-willing. But if this hasn’t been your year, then this last part is for you:
To the teacher who really just can’t this year: (now I’m crying). I was you. I was on the edge of nothing and everything all in the same breath. You can do this, brave human. You have to finish as strong as you can. These kids may not have a champion in their life, but it’s you. They wake up, walk to school, check-in late, etc. so that they can see YOU! I have some super amazing friends in my life who are struggling this year- and I know some of you will read this. You’re doing great. You are doing everything you can and then some, so lets finish this out together and meet at Melting Pot for Ladies Night in two weeks (now you know who I’m talking to 😉 )!
With love and prayers! ❤