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  • Writer's pictureWendy Haller

Dedicated to Teachers

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Who are you?

“I am a teacher”

What do you do?

“I am a teacher”


If you ask anyone in education this would be their response. Strip that away and what is left? That is a question I had to face last January when I had to go out on medical leave.


Being a teacher defines us. It is who we are down to our core. We call our students our kids, because they are and always will be a part of our heart.


Every year at my open house, I tell my parents I am your child’s advocate for the one year they are with me, but you are their advocate for the rest of their lives. This is true. Our students come and go through our classroom doors, but they never stop being our kids.

Over the last seven years, I have gone through lockdown training, active shooter training, pmt/restraint training, a worldwide pandemic where I had to teach remotely and hybrid. I’ve taught through plastic shields with a face mask on while teaching to the common core, meeting IEP (individualized education plans) goals and objectives, completing SLO’s (student learning objectives), counseling anxious parents, trying to meet the needs of ALL my students with and without IEP’s, comforting colleagues as we get more and more things piled on top of us from federal, state, and district administrators. We’ve dealt with staff shortages every single day, not in theory. We are told, “We are doing our best” by those above us to fill the positions while we make it work for our students.


We always make it work for our students.


They are our children, not a number on a test score or a line on a data sheet or a dollar amount on a yearly budget. They are our children.


Teacher burnout is real for all the reasons above. The joy and passion to teach is being sucked out of us by the continuous demands put on our shoulders, many of which are not necessary or part of our job. We don’t need more professional development. We need support. We need to be allowed to go into our classrooms, close the doors and just be with our kids. Let us meet them exactly where they are right now. THEY ARE NOT BEHIND. You can’t be behind in school years that didn’t happen for the WHOLE WORLD.


Teachers want to support their students socially, emotionally, and academically. We know how to do our jobs so please let us. We don’t need to be judged on student performance by a test score on a piece of paper. We don’t need to write our goals and objectives on the board each day or week for the chance an administrator visits our room and can check that off their list. The kids don’t care what common core number we are working on that week.


We don’t need countless observations or walk-throughs with judgment on our performance so those above can dot the ‘i’s’ and cross the ‘t’s’ on their ‘to do’ list so they can show those above them they are doing their job.


We need to be left alone to do our job!


Give us a couple of years to just teach and solely focus on the kids.


There will be growth.

There will always be growth.


From September to June, we will foster every child’s learning ability, so they grow. If they struggle, we will help them or do everything in our power to get them the help they need to be successful.


Because we are teachers!


Yes, we are extremely underpaid, as are the paraeducators. But despite that, it’s about the kids and we ALWAYS put the kids first. Being a teacher is a job, a profession, but for many of us it’s more than that. Being a teacher defines us, it is our passion, our purpose.


What I’ve learned these months of being home on medical leave is that it is a job in a life. Like any other job, we are replaceable.


To all my teacher friends and beyond who are returning to the classroom this Fall, I see you, I honor you and thank you for continuing to love and support our kiddos.


To all my teacher friends and beyond who have decided to leave the field, I see you, I honor you and thank you for all you have done to love and support our kids.


To all of you, wherever you are on this path, remember in the end it is a job in a life. Take care of you first.


Whether you are in the classroom or out of it, we are and always will be teachers to our very core.


With love and kindness,


Wendy



Now I know my ABC’s

A child sits on a rug

Back straight

Criss-cross applesauce

Day after day


A teacher at the front of the room

Broken in two, by the

Conflict in her own heart

Does she stay for the love of them

End the torture of her moral compass


Fear of what might happen

Gliding on the unknown

Holding out hope they are not next

Inviting doubt into her soul

Joy for the job has been taken away

Keep her students safe

Love for the profession no more

Not knowing how much longer

Often wondering what else she would do

Proud of all she’s done


Quickly close the blinds, another drills begun

Reach her loving arms around her children

Say words of comfort to them

Time has come

Understanding sets in

Violence is out there waiting to come

Watching the door, hug a child

Yes, it is our turn

Zero days left to wonder







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1 Comment


Guest
Aug 29, 2023

Well said and beautifully written. This should be published in some medium with more reach.

Love, Mike

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