Dear Teacher on the Tired Days,

I get it.

I had a student hurt my feelings today. Words that cut deep and wounded because there is always an element of truth perceived by the one being sarcastic.

And I’ve been icing my bruises all afternoon.

The school year is winding down, and I’m tired. I know you’re tired, too. Exhaustion is seeping in. We’re wondering if we’re going to end better than we began, or if our students will be dragging our limp bodies across the finish line.

My seniors may have three weeks left, but they checked out a month ago. Some days I wonder why I even bother to have a lesson. I could just assign a reading passage and the questions to answer from the end for the next fifteen school days.

There are teachers out there who do that…

I understand why.

I spend days and weeks begging and pleading, attempting to try anything that might, just might, get my students to read the books I assign.

I craft lessons and talk about stories and show video clips in every attempt to get my teens to think outside of themselves—to see the world and its nuances. Then I spend lunch wiping the tears of the one bullied and outcast.

I stay up to grade essays and comment on ways to improve their writing. Hours spent away from my family only to wonder if it makes any sort of difference when I see those same essays in the trash.

So by this time of year, I’m ready to call it quits. Every year wondering if I can do it again.

I know you understand. I know you feel the same. I know you have nights you wonder why you chose this profession, this teaching, this pouring out of your life into hearts day after day after day.

But really? You didn’t choose teaching.

It chose you.

For me, college was spent denying the very thought of teaching. It was only a far-in-the-background safety net if the writing thing didn’t work out.

The only job I could get right out of college?

Yep. Teaching.

By Christmas that first year I said never again.

I’ve been teaching thirteen of the last seventeen years, and now there’s no other job I’d enjoy more. (Unless being a travel writer for Condé Nast was an option…Are they hiring? Tahiti sounds like heaven right now.)

It is my calling. It is my purpose.

But here’s the thing about calling. God doesn’t call us to the easy. He invites us to the hard. The get-your-hands-dirty difficult. We are not promised perfect just because we are fulfilling our life’s purpose.

Because that kid with the bitter sarcasm? He or she may still need your smile that you might not want to give.

And your class after lunch with 20 big teenage boys and only five girls, all hyped-up with sugar, dyes, and processed foods and IEPs and 504s? They need to know they’re worth the effort even when they themselves show none.

And those children from broken homes with parents who shatter each other with words or fists? They need a quiet heart to stand beside them, even though you know politicians only see their test scores and not their homes.

And those students with apathy so thick you fear they will never feel anything? For anyone? They need to see that transparency breathes a beautiful life. They need to see it in you, even when the see-through heart leaves you an easy target.

Teaching was never about us. If this profession has called your name, you’re only ever in it for the students.

That’s why it hurts so much when they act like they don’t care or when the disrespect slaps us hard across the face, and the sting burns for days.

I know you’re tired. You’re battle weary with wounds seeping and scarring. But they still need you.

They need to see your fight.

Don’t give up, my friend. You can’t. I can’t. The stakes are too high. This calling, this profession, this teaching—it changes the future.

Our students are worth starting new tomorrow. They are worth giving it all we have one more day again and again and again.

Because there are students listening. There are students learning. There are students caring. We must refuse to allow the loud voices of a few to drown out the soft voices of teachable spirits.

Let’s fight together, friends. Let’s end this year better than we began. Let’s cheer each other on tomorrow and the next day and the next until we hear that final bell ring.

This is our calling. These are our students.

They deserve our fight.

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177 Responses to Dear Teacher on the Tired Days,

  1. Marie Southall says:

    Love this! Thanks for the push!

    • Joshua says:

      After working with Suspended students, who’s schools, family and friends have pretty much given up on, for only one year. I have been teaching for five. I have the unique perspective of someone that genuinely cares about the teaching and learning process. Yes, I am exhausted, but is it worth it? I would have to say, a resounding, “Absolutely!” These kids, I can lump them all in one group, good with poor behavior, are merely looking for some acknowledgment, that they matter.

      • Lindsay Anderson says:

        Good with poor behavior, looking for acknowledgement that they matter. Well said, my friend. I’m with you.. all in. Absolutely worth it.

        • Sharon Mickley says:

          I certainly appreciate this article!!

          I’m a secondary education teacher at our district’s alternative school and completely agree with “good with poor behavior” description. I never knew I could love my students as much as I do and truly enjoy working with them. It is without a doubt a calling.

  2. Oh my gosh! Someone who understands!!

    • You are definitely not alone, Kathryn!

    • Dani Apter says:

      I am literally sitting in my classroom, lights off…no sound, so exhausted that the custodian might have to scrape me off of the floor like the chewed up gum that my studests manage to leave. I taught for 10 years, took a 7 year hiatus and felt ‘called’ back this year. I question it every day. It’s good to know that what I am experiencing is not unique…Nevertheless, this is the most exhausting profession I’ve had. Da

      • CDD says:

        I have been in the teaching profession for 30 years. I have seen many things change (mostly in the past 5 years) but also over the last 25 years. I have always taught in low income (Title I) schools. I have had great administrators, good administrators, administrators who have appreciated and respected me, and others who felt I “didn’t fit their mold” and was not worth my experience when I didn’t do things exactly as they were expecting (some of those administrators had very few years of actual teaching experience and saw only what they were directed to
        “see” as being acceptable when it came to evaluation/observation time).
        I have had parents who have applauded what I taught their children, parents who had very little time to actually understand – due to the difficulties in their own problematic lives – and students who came back to tell me that I did make a difference in their lives. I still feel happy when I see excitement in a child’s eyes about an area of learning we are experiencing. I enjoy the creativity that I am “allowed” to take with certain areas of the curriculum even though we are much more micromanaged than ever before. Still, I miss the days when we had basic “control” of decisions made as the teachers who came into the profession 25-35 years ago (and even much, much longer ago) before standardized “high stakes” testing dictated what and HOW we teach now. I still enjoy the teaching and (every once in a great while) a true teachable moment – a day when there are less restrictions due to unexpected “walk throughs”, and most of all, the light in a child’s eyes when he or she “gets it” after a lesson “well taught” without being approved or “judged” by someone who might not really understand what teacching is actually all about!

        • Dawn says:

          CDD, I too have been teaching 30 years. I think we may have had the same administrators, or at least the same type. I could not have said what you did any better!

  3. Cathy Clark says:

    Oh, I so needed to read this today. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Tracy Jones says:

    Thank you!! And you won’t realize how passionately you love this job and how deeply it cuts you to lose it until you are asked to “retire” as I was this year. I’m only 60. I wasn’t finished loving this pain yet. Ok, so I don’t have the same energy as those younger teachers, but I want finished loving, inspiring, nurturing yet. So embrace your precious career, fellow teacher!

    • K says:

      There is always a place for loving teachers and nurturers. You will find another place to pour into, I know! May you find the perfect place that will encourage your heart too!

    • Patti sweeney says:

      Keep going Tracy! I retired after 35 yrs and now private tutor and volunteer! There is lots to do with children out there❤️

    • Diane says:

      Or when at the end of your 5th year (tenure year) your contract is not renewed to make room for a coach…

      • I’m so sorry, Diane…Ugh. The system is truly teetering…

      • Christie says:

        Ditto. Im in my office right now in the dark. ..i needed to read this. The whole” its not you, its us” has a specific sting like no other. Praying for strength to pull it off well to the very end.

      • Charlotte says:

        Diane,

        A similar thing happened to me in my 3rd year of teaching and it took me 10 years to return to education. I was devastated at the time, but I ended up getting a better paying job working for wonderful people and learned so much in those 10 years. I am a business teacher and those 10 years in the “real world” made me a much better teacher, so maybe God has a plan for you also.

        • Cindy Durkee says:

          Amen. I am in completing my 39th year as a business educator. May you continue to be challenged and feel called to be a teacher. I had two brand new preps this year (teaching four different preps), one of which is Web Design. Wow, that has been quite challenging, but it keeps me going. Also teaching Sports and Entertainment Marketing as another new course. In addition, I became the Mass. Business Educators Assoc. president a few weeks ago. And I could have retired three years ago under our one time offered early retirement–not ready. Love the students and the profession. At least Business is constantly keeping us on our toes with the technology changes!!

          • Cindy Durkee says:

            Work with the students outside the classroom too if you can. I also advise a BPA chapter and am taking students to nationals soon. I officiate a couple of girls sports too; love it all!

    • Sue Redman says:

      I had that same thing happen. I still teach, just not high school. Now I am at the 2 year college and love it. I have been there for 4 years, still have the great feeling of helping them get it!

    • Tracy, my heart absolutely aches for you. I love what some of our fellow colleagues have suggested. There really is ALWAYS a place for loving teachers and nurtures. Don’t give up!

    • Mary Carpenter says:

      My heart goes out to you. I got told to retire 7 years ago and I wasn’t ready either. I do substitute but it’s not the same.

    • Melanie says:

      That just means you’re needed more at the next place. 60 is too young to retire if you’re in good health. Go find “your” school.

      • Janice says:

        I retired from middle school 2 years ago because the disrespect was going to cause me to say something to get myself fired. I now teach preschool 3 year olds, a totally different experience AND I love it! Would never have loved that age 40 years ago!!!!Sometimes our teaching talents need to be reinvented and recycled!

    • Paulette says:

      Tracy,
      Thank you for your years of service to your students. I am sure that you were a blessing to them. One day, the very same people that asked you to retire will certainly be in your shoes. God will place you in another school environment when you are ready. In the meantime, take a break and TRAVEL. Just do anything that will make you happy

      • Bobbi Patton says:

        Hard to travel when we make too little to save, at least we single moms who Did whatever we could to get our kids through college.

    • Pam Taplin says:

      I ” retired” after my *%$#& principal moved me to grade 7 after 27 years of grade 8! Opened my own homeschool and work 4 hours per week, making 4 times what I made teaching public school! Karma! Life is good! There are numerous opportunities out there for ex teachers!

      • Kevin Sanders says:

        Hi Pam, opening a homeschool service is something I’m interested in (I’m currently a public school teacher in Georgia), but I’m not sure how to go about it. Would it be possible to talk to you about it? Thanks! -Kevin

    • Betty says:

      I am also at the retirement at 60 due to severe back pain. I cried for weeks following the extremely hard way I had to leave the career I had been looking for, for a long time! I miss everything about it…except the daily grind of getting up and putting the back pain aside and going on. Best of luck, Tracy in whatever your future holds!

    • I retired three months ago and I never realized I would miss teaching so much. I had been teaching for 35 years and there were times when I longed for the day I would retire but working with children is the most rewarding profession that exists and if I had to do it all over again I wouldn’t hesitate. Like all teachers out there I cannot deny that it is also tiring and extremely stressful however I urge you all to embrace it and to continue loving the children entrusted to you.

    • Sanareena Keller says:

      Ms. Jones, please continue to do what you love so much. Only now you can do it on your own terms, and at your will. Enjoy your retirement…the next phase.

  5. Ruby Lin says:

    I’m there and not sure I can take anymore. it’s been 20 years now, and the last 5 have been the most exhausting. It’s been too easy this year to check out and just float. My husband is also a teacher and we’re both looking at being unemployed and homeless after the end of May. Yeah, we’re in a private school where the pay isn’t as good as public nor is the stress less. I just wish the government would leave teaching to the teachers and not get involved in telling us what we need to do. Ironically, if my husband can find another teaching position, he’d be right back at it, getting up a 3 AM and going to bed at 11 PM.
    Thanks for the encouragement. Knowing someone else KNOWS helps so much.

    • Oh, Ruby…It is so hard. And the fight is exhausting. You are not alone, friend.

    • Yes, it’s the government AND the publishers/test makers and gurus who start charters funded by big business or deals like between Mayor Rahm Emanuel and who knows!
      America had fairer education once and could again. Finland fixed their system. And a side issue is school lunch. My students go to the vending machines! Apparently they like the free breakfast a bit more than the free (bad) lunch, but the food we provide our children is another disgrace. France spends a fair amount (& parents put in what they can) to support the health of their future voting/working population! My students are becoming Rice Krispie treats! No wonder they can’t function in the afternoon!

  6. Jen says:

    Wow. Did I write this? I have felt these exact emotions so acutely that I feel like this could’ve been my fingers typing them out. Thanks for the reminder to keep going. And thanks for the solidarity, friend.

  7. Abbi says:

    I needed this today! What wonderful words! Thanks you!

    • Winifred D. Herrington says:

      To God be the Glory this is just a breathe of fresh air. I don’t know how you came up with this, but I can now run with great joy of reward in my heart and see what the end will be.
      Thank you Thank You.

  8. Glee Rice says:

    Boy, did I ever need this today! Bless you, for speaking our collective hearts!

  9. Kim Jones says:

    Love this, and I need it right now….as I’m sitting here with a large table of senior boys who think everything is funny and rules don’t apply… but I love them anyway and realize they’re about to leave. I just hope I’ve taught them something to hold on to in life. My chance to impact them in some way is ending way too quickly.

  10. Rebekah says:

    Wiping the tears from my eyes.

    Thank you!

  11. Even though I teach third grade, not high school, your essay really hit home! I too am tired of many if the daily battles I have been fighting daily since September. With only six weeks of school left, one of which will be “wasted” due to PARCC testing I am definitely feeling tired. It helps to know others feel the same way. Thanks girl the pep talk ☺️

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  13. Amy Byassee says:

    ❤️

  14. Autumn McClain says:

    This is AWESOME! Thanks for writing and sharing♡

  15. Sheila says:

    Thanks for writing this! I’ve been feeling this way for weeks. I needed this boost to get through the next few weeks with my seniors.

  16. Debra Sterling says:

    I was the teacher of the students with the IEPs and special needs for 31 years. We all worked so very hard to make the classroom a place of acceptance. There were days when I walked out beaten and weary, but as you say, each day was a new chance. It would have been so easy to let things ride, but maybe, just maybe I might make a difference for some of them. I miss it!

  17. Christy says:

    I totally wrote this in my head today and then came to read it put so much more eloquently… thanks! I can fight for 5 more weeks.

  18. tmcasciano says:

    Well done! I was a special education teacher for 8 years and remember feeling this way every year.

  19. Lynn says:

    That was awesome. I’m not a teacher, but I have kids, and I want to thank and salute you all for the things you do every day for our children.

  20. childofaslan says:

    This. Yes. Just…this.

  21. Lisa says:

    Amen, and amen. Thank you

  22. Labrenda Coleman says:

    I am a high school Algebra teacher. I feel like I fight with kids all day long just to get them to write down things that would help them. The fight gets old! Thank you for reminding me that I just can’t give up. I must finish the race that God has put before me. May He bless you too!!!!

  23. Hope says:

    At the end of a long week of state testing middle schooler, thank you for the pep talk. My students need my best and need me to expect the best from them.

  24. Marie Page says:

    This is so true thanks for sharing

  25. Mayra Garza says:

    Wow! I really needed this today! Exactly how I felt today… just wanted to quit… quit caring… but this inspires me again to keep doing what I love.

  26. Amy Royall says:

    Thanks for these words! This is my 22nd year to teach and each year I wonder how long I can continue. But each morning I get up and hope that something I say will reach those reluctant learners and make a difference.

  27. I’m not a teacher that has been ‘trained’, but I was set to go to college. At the last spring in my Senior year, my parents said there was no money available for me. Their plan was for me to do data entry that paid better and that way I could live at home and give then my pay check.

    I eventually left home promising my self that I needed to get a life. I’ve worked in schools, one an Elementary in Richardson, Tx working in the media room. I was lucky enough to be able to use my art background to do posters of book covers for MTA teacher. I started to teach the others how to make posters by teaching them some art lessons.

    My next school was a study lab at West Jr High. Administrative help for several teachers who served as tutors for 7 periods. I found that I had a knack for teaching the kids how to study.

    I never got be a real teacher, but, I found it to be fulfilling outlet for my dream of being a teacher.

    • Katie says:

      Sounds like you were a real teacher all along <3

    • Barbara- A “real” teacher is someone who holds high the standard of caring and helping students learn, not necessarily the one with a piece of paper to hang on the wall…Sure sounds to me like you fit the bill! Thank you for jumping in and showing how important is was to you!

    • Barbara, the definition of teacher is far and wide and vast. April said it best below…Thank you for making the difference you make!

    • Jenny Wright says:

      Barbara,
      Your reply really hit home with me. I don’t know your age, but I would like to share something with you. I was in the same boat as you. I started working in schools when my youngest child started kindergarten. I was a paraprofessional for nineteen years. In my late forties, I decided to go back to school. I am now fifty-four, and I am finishing up my first year teaching high school English. Is it a little embarrassing to go to new teacher meetings and sit next to colleagues younger than my own children? Sure, sometimes. I was going to turn fifty-four anyway; I figured I just as well do it while doing something I wanted to do most of my adult life. It’s never too late to dream. And, if for some reason going back to school is not an option, then please take pride in knowing you’ve been a natural born teacher for a very long time. All the best!

      • Suzanne says:

        Jenny I am the same as you – two years into the profession at 51! I teach preschool and some of the parents could be my own children! My daughters third grade teacher is half my age. Never too late to follow your calling.

  28. Lea says:

    I so needed this today! Thank you!

  29. Donna Grady says:

    Don’t give up on the writing.I know you are a great teacher because I know you to be a awesome person in real life and can do anything you decide to do.Keep up the good work as so many kids need you and that is how it is done, one kid at a time.

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  31. Linda Bailey says:

    I’m sharing this with my Granddaughters School. I know this will be a Blessing to all. Thank you Teachers everywhere!

  32. Suzanne Gross says:

    As a newly retired teacher now subbing and tutoring, I firmly believe teaching is my heart! I don’t miss grading language arts comps and projects to all hours of the night; I don’t miss collecting artifacts, data, and SLO’s, but I miss the kids, my teacher and para educator friends, and creating new lessons and projects! You can do it! If not, take a personal or sick day to refuel to get you to the end of the year!

  33. Robin Neeld says:

    Thank you for pouring your heart out.Thank you for being exactly what God’s plan for your life is meant to be.

  34. david dybalski says:

    Agree
    not about us…..life is so short and try to help others along the way
    dr.d

  35. Terri says:

    Parents are your children’s first teachers. To some parents it is an honor to be the children’s teacher. To some parents it is a chore.

  36. I am not a school teacher, but was a very busy volunteer when my kids were in school (my youngest has been out for nearly 20 years!); especially elementary, but still involved all through their years, I saw some of the finest teachers, and a few that tend to give all teachers a bad rap. I sometimes wondered how you did it. I was so frustrated with parents who did not parent, but sure expected the teachers to “do their job,” meaning for the teacher to be both parent and teacher. I saw so much class time taken up with discipline, keeping order, etc., that there was little time spent on actual teaching. I saw teachers withhold a touch of a hand on a shoulder because of government stupidity.
    Our son was seriously bullied to the point of being suicidal by the end of 8th grade, and I learned of teachers who did nothing to intervene, yet there would be one who would provide a safe harbor. This bullying lasted even after he had graduated, contributing to a breakdown 18 years later. I was so very thankful for those few, and they were the few, who helped us keep him going until he graduated. I’ll be eternally grateful for them. But, you have no idea what it is like when you see a teacher not only turn the other way, but add to it by doing some bullying of their own. In the midst was a informal meeting of parents and teachers, and when one teacher suggested that parents should always be supportive of the teacher because whatever the student might say should be seen as a excuse for not doing their best, I nearly swallowed my teeth. I spoke out about how I would never give blanket support for teachers, but always remained fair minded; but would listen to my child. In the process, other parents would share similar incidents, but it never was addressed. Sometimes I felt like I was pushing against a swift current every single day encouraging him to do his best until he graduated. Had it not been for two absolutely incredible teachers who worked with him in the learning lab (study hall), I don’t think he would have stayed in school.
    You just don’t know how valuable you are to the student or two who are like my son!! I hurt for those of you who pour out yourselves for your class, and get disrespect, name calling, disruptive behavior in return. Even worse, you get the same from the parents! I know that during the 20+ years my kids have been out of school, it is even worse.
    It is what led my daughter to home school her 4 kids. She worked a few years in the classroom as a sub, then a para-pro in special ed. She saw robotic teaching where teachers spoke to their class while chaos reigned, and the teaching was geared for government testing, not for the thrill of learning. Her kids have thrived under her teaching and through the small home school co-ops with which they are involved. Even her 3 year old can sing parts of the timeline song, and the one about prepositions!
    For the majority of our kids, you are the anchor in their education. You may just be the life preserver they need, too! Please hang in there. I so hope there are enough parents who know the good teacher you are, and encourage you along the way. It is the good ones who have cared enough to read all this. But, please don’t protect those teachers whom you know have no business in the classroom. Your integrity will soar among parents!!
    I am sorry about the kid who hurt you with his words, and for all the times it seems they don’t care. I’m sorry for the disrespect and abuse you get from parents who think you should be doing their job. I wish the government would get out of your way, and let you teach, and not push facts so the kids can pass some test. The test they need to pass is called life, and right now, too many have a failing grade. When my 12 year old grandson can give correct answers to questions poised to some kids graduating college who couldn’t even name the Vice President, I get a little worried about education. Then I remember those of you who work so darned hard, knowing you do make a difference in the lives of probably more kids than you realize! Sorry this is so long, but just thoughts on my mind for a long time.

    • Julie says:

      Carolyn, as a retired elementary teacher with three children of my own, ages 32-38, I understand every part of what you’ve written. I feel fortunate to have taught during years when we could have fun learning in the classroom; when I could spend 2 or 3 hours on a topic that popped up during a math lesson or social studies discussion that the kids wanted to explore; when I was able to focus more on helping kids understand that learning is a lifelong process, and that we learn from each other. I, too, have seen teachers that should find a different career. Some have been my children’s teachers and some have been colleagues. I felt powerless because of bureaucracy even as I met with principals and the school board to express my concerns.

      As a teacher I remember feeling that I didn’t do enough; that I failed some children; that I just couldn’t keep knocking my head against the wall. Then, when a man of nearly 50, who was a naughty little third grade boy in my first class, sees me in a store and hugs me and tells me how I made a difference in his life, I realize that teachers don’t know how they affect students. I realize that it’s important to keep teaching, and to be a positive, supportive person for all students.

      For all of the teachers who are struggling through the last weeks of the school year, hang in there! You’re struggling because you care! Take good care of yourself so that you have the energy needed to end the year on a happy, positive note.

      Carolyn, your children are lucky to have you as a loving, supportive, parent. By showing them how to be an advocate, you’ve given them skills to help them through life. Thank you for writing this. Teachers need to hear what parents experience with their children.

      • Julie, You are one of those teachers who is a joy to volunteer for! I loved taking a few kids in the hall to work on reading skills. Schools don’t use parents like they used to, but use para-pros. When I volunteered, I could see with my own eyes and ears how my child was measuring up with the other kids. Did we need to work on something at home? Was there an area that could use more challenge? My kids did not breeze through school academically, but they knew they were expected to do homework, and turn it in. By the same token, I had some serious discussions with teachers who gave too much.
        School was not going to be a 24/7 thing. They needed time to read a book, play outside, participate in the handbell choir, etc. I have great concern for the health problems we are seeing, and I don’t mean Michelle Obama’s nose in our kids school lunches. Schools just don’t need that kind of micromanagement. I mean the fact that school starts so early in the morning. Locally, I hear it is so teachers have time to engage in a secondary school function, like coaching, or other employment. Or, to fit the schedule for another group/function with no regard for what it is doing to our kids! We have high school starting at 7AM, and elementary at 7:30! Now, they are talking about even earlier! We have kids p!aging sports who are suffering injuries that will affect them for the rest of their lives. Just so the team can win the championship, but the student be on disability for the rest of their life?
        I digress….so much of this is out of teacher’s control. So much of it is within parental control and a lot of the time it are the parents who are to blame. And, a school board who refuses to listen. And a government who has people who have no clue, making decisions based on a small minority of whiners, all to justify their paycheck. It is teachers who know their colleagues best, and allegations should be taken seriously. Here is an example. In the school my kids attended, there was a 5th grade teacher who had a reputation for asking female students to bend over, and you can assume why. As a volunteer, I heard about it, but since I had no proof, left it alone. Then a little girl of a close friend was a student in his class. His requests to bend over were always when she had a dress or skirt on, and he would deliberately drop something and order it to be picked up. He would often stand over female students, and they would be aware of him looking to see their breasts. If the student resisted, he would begin to humiliate them. One day, he sent this girl out to his truck to get something, and she discovered open bottles of alcohol. I was asked by the family to be a advocate, and because of their work schedules to actively intervene. I didn’t mess around, and made some phone calls, and it resulted I. A meeting with the principal, school social worker, and myself. I used my days working in protective services to my advantage, and I was very familiar with their responsibility for suspected child abuse, and his behavior fell under that. Taking my suggestion to question some female students who had had him, he was immediately put on leave, eventually losing his job, and I believe his teaching certification. What made me angry, is that this had been going on for years, administration knew about it, and did nothing. I was disgusted that not one parent in those years decided to stand up for their daughters! What is wrong with people?
        Again, I rant. Julie, thank you for having been one of those great teachers. I had one, too. She was actually a counselor and gave me a safe place in the midst of a really scary childhood. I ended up playing for her funeral. I still miss her!
        I gave too much time to the few bad ones, but they are a reality we can’t ignore. Nor can we ignore those like yourself. I hope if any parents are reading this that they will take the time to be involved in their children’s classroom, whether the teacher wants you there or not. Go through the steps necessary to be able to volunteer, if necessary. Let those great teachers know you appreciate them. Teach your children to obey and respect, and to show appreciation, too. When things seem awry, listen to your kids, but seek all the facts before anything else. Miscommunication is a problem, but it doesn’t have to be. Be an advocate for your child, and for the teacher who goes the distance. An affirmative note in their personnel file is worthy when evaluations come around. Just saying.

    • Thank you for sharing your heart here, Carolyn. So much truth in your words. My heart breaks for the experience your son faced…

      • Thank you. What a journey it was. Some days In felt like I was throwing him to the wolves! When he had his breakdown in 2014, it was awful! It has only been a few months now, that when we hang up after talking to him, I no longer wondered if it was going to be the last time I spoke to him. The events our kids face in their childhood, eventually have to be reckoned with. I don’t care how old your kids get, being a parent is a lifetime job!

  37. S. McCoy says:

    this was absolutely awesome to read and thank you! i am inspired to go on today! you mentioned above that teaching is your calling but i think you are called to teach and inspire those who do with your writing and words of wisdom. thank you for sharing of yourself and your experience with us! blessings…

  38. Jennifer Wharton says:

    I am one of a handful of 8th grade teachers who teaches a high school class for credit. So when administration celebrates the end of standardized testing with three weeks remaining until our final exams…well, it’s tough to combat. I don’t blame the kids for checking out. I would too if the previous 8 months culminated in countless hours of multiple choice mush! I’m not saying I have not succumbed to bouts of negativity, but it’s up to us to finish strong with and for our kids…and maybe even shake things up with a little bit of learning disguised as fun!

  39. educatore says:

    Wow! You are amazing. Having taught high school I can definitely relate. In those final weeks before graduation I found it was mostly senior boys who were not ready for such a big change. They would lash out and say things they couldn’t take back. I know the words haunt them in their adult life so you are right in everything you say. You need to come back with a smile tomorrow and show them you are there for them. If only teachers could change the structure of the final weeks of school each year where for ages students have shut down and stopped applying themselves. How can we make the last few weeks count for students and for teachers? If we could solve this maybe we could end the burn out that occurs each year. I don’t know the answer within the current structures. Bless you!

    • As a parent, I have so enjoyed the comments of all of you teachers! I know the ones reading this are among the best!

      Educator: I don’t know if this is plausible, but why not discuss with your students what would help them to finish the year strong? But, don’t wait until the end of the year to ask. If you have a discussion early on, and continue it through the year, see what happens. Maybe they will choose to work harder early to complete class requirements so that at the end there can be time for some people in the real world who use the skills they are now learning. Perhaps there would be time for some fun labs that had to be scratched. Our schools have a more rural setting, so maybe a outdoor classroom? Inner city kids could have a day where they make a difference in cleaning up around the school, painting the classroom in a pattern they designed. It becomes a reward for hard work, good behavior, and I think would help them see they belong to a community; not just their immediate class, but extended outward. Showcase the various talents within the classroom, using some item learned in class. Just some thoughts.

      • Dr. Mildred Holcomb-Allen says:

        As a retired elementary teacher and professor of education, my response is a little different from all of the rest of these heart-felt comments. I truly identify with all of you who feel that teaching is a calling and a mission field…and the weariness that you feel at the end of the school year.

        As an educator of young children for 38 years, I had a goal of becoming a college/university professor where I could share my ideas and “enlarge my territory” (from the Prayer of Jabez). (This is an option for those who love teaching but would like to make a change in the career.) I finally achieved my goal, and it was a joy to teach future teachers and future principals.

        I would like to share a true story that happened to me when I was teaching young children:

        At the end of school one day, a student came up to me in the hallway and asked me a question: “Why are teachers so stupid?” I was taken aback by the question, and I said, “Why do you ask that?” The student said, “Because they always ask us for all of the answers!”

        Little did I realize it, but that student’s question guided my teaching for the rest of my career to always be aware of how students may interpret what I teach and to be sure students fully understand what is taught and how it can relate to their lives.

        For the next 38 years, I filled out lesson plan books, matched my personality with as many as 30 students in the classroom, and transferred my knowledge and skills of the curriculum into concepts that could be comprehended and applied.

        I still communicate with students I had when I was teaching younger students and with those who were my university students.

        My two sisters and I are retired from teaching now. We have completed over 100 years of teaching! We are planning to write a book together.

        Hang in there, teachers! I feel that our calling to be teachers is second only to that of being a parent! Teaching young minds, and inquiring minds of older students, is the gift that is given by God Himself!

  40. Tracie Sullivan says:

    Thank you for the encouragement! Now I’m ready to dig into grading my huge stack of research papers! I’m sharing with my teacher friends!

  41. mark webber says:

    I’m lucky enough to be completing my 43rd year-and will do at least one more-there is NOTHING more fulfilling and exciting than being a teacher-every single day I, we, have the opportunity to make a real difference in a child’s life-and if there is anything more important, or satisfying, I cannot imagine what it could be. I too am more than ready for the summer break-and by July 4th I am always itching for the next class of knowledge seekers to inspire me!
    Mark Webber
    Trinity Charter School-Pegasus campus

  42. cyfever says:

    As simply a parent — I can remember my jr hi kid coming home and telling me her teacher was horrible and she had to stay after school because she accidentally blew her clarinet. As a parent I had the option to say you poor child — or to be realistic —- So I explained I listened to her with her learning to play her clarinet and I knew one thing she didn’t accidentally blew her clarinet – she did it to anger her teacher. IT IS TIME THAT PARENTS BACK THEIR TEACHERS AND TEACH THEIR KIDS TO RESPECT THE PERSON AS A TEACHER. What are these kids going to do when they don’t want to do what their boss says?

  43. New2itAll says:

    This was so needed. I’m just starting out, and I was in fear that I was wasting my breath until a few students came to me and said they were prepared for the Leap Test because I helped them get there. I smiled from ear to ear. The day testing ended, though, I could barely catch the attention of the most devout student. I was wondering what the point of it all was. Thank you for these encouraging words.

  44. Teri says:

    When asked what I do for a living, the answer is “I teach” or “I am a teacher.” It is not something I “do,” but rather something I AM. It is a part of the fiber of my being–how God made me.

    Do I get tired of trying to make literature more “interesting” to a video-centric audience? Yes. Frustrated with students’ desire to only do enough to get by rather than giving their best? Often. Fed up with rules and regulations that seem to impede my ability to do my job? Sometimes. Tired of staying up late trying to figure out what my international students are trying to say in their essays so that I can help with their grammar using words they know? Oh, yes. Very tired. Irritated when I do the math and realize what I’m really making per hour when I count lesson planning, grading, and all the extra curricular activities required of me and divide by my very small (private Christian school) salary? Ummm…yes. I shouldn’t be paid less than somebody flipping burgers when I have the awesome responsibility of my students’ future on my hands.

    But then I see that “I get it look” in a student’s eyes one day in class, and it is all worth it. I see a student read ahead in the book because the story caught their interest and they “couldn’t put it down.” And on those really good days, students comes back from college to show me their college essay with good comments from their professors. I am thankful for the calling even more than I am thankful for three-day weekends and summer break!

    Blessings to you, Petals of Joy (!), for inspiring words at a time of year when we’re all a little tired!

  45. Terrie Lopez says:

    Amen! I didn’t come into teaching until I was older and I’ve substitute taught for 10 years and finally got a position and have been a full time teacher for 3 years. I love what I do, not because I chose it but because it is truly what I was meant to do. God made it my purpose because of my heart for children and He continues to work through me every single day. Including the hard days. Thank you for the lift! God bless you.

  46. 2nd year teacher here. I came into teaching via adv engineering degree and 4 children of my own. I teach HS math to juniors and seniors. Even though I have the “good” kids, headed to college (I teach Calculus), I feel this. I’m so tired, and just trying to make it to June.

  47. I have felt all of these emotions at one time or another. It is so comforting to know that someone else knows what teaching is truly like and shares it with such eloquence. I am a substitute teacher and you never know what a child or teenager is going through at home or from their peers.They may just need that compliment or smile that will make them feel safe and loved.

  48. That was a beautiful read! Thanks so much!
    I love teaching and always tell my principal I go home to refresh my brain and I am ready to start fresh again the next morning!!!! Yes it is so hard at times but I wouldn’t trade it for anything!!!

  49. Leighkaran says:

    I teach AP English (only 8 more days until the exam) and this week was just diagnosed with Rheumatic Fever that I have had since Labor Day. Talk about limping across the finish line. I just can’t give up on my kiddos (even if my boy is screaming, “Stop!”) I needed to read this.

  50. Kristen says:

    Thank you for answering the call to teach with such grace and compassion! God bless you and all those who do the same, every day, year after year. You are angels on Earth!

  51. john dover says:

    You’ve gotten it just right, and it makes me feel so grateful for the 40 years that I was lucky enough to spend in this field (that I never dreamed I would ever wind up in!)

  52. Justine says:

    Only second time this year I pulled out my iPhone ear buds to a student who returned them to me. I tucked them away. Next day he asked to use them again, they’re gone. Someone was watching a me just waiting to take what wasn’t theirs. Yep. Hurts your feelings….

  53. Dr. A. Johnson says:

    This was so awesome! I recently completed my dissertation on what keeps teachers in urban classrooms. From my study, I discovered one element was teachers like you. Veterans have provided a listening ear and support to novice teachers. This support was essential in helping new urban teachers remain true to their calling.

  54. Teresa Lawson says:

    Oh, I so thought I was the only one feeling this way. Third year teaching, ESE inclusion and an EBD Unit. So tired.

  55. My students used to say, Ms Bell still likes us, we/re not sure why. From Self contained Behavior Class, retired now, and see my old students occasionally, and know what?, ,Most of them, well they’re doling fine!!!! And some are doing the best they can. Miss them!

  56. Adrian says:

    It’s like you are speaking directly to me. Thank you!

  57. Shannon says:

    Thank you.

  58. Carol Pinnell says:

    Well said! I needed to read this! I have been teaching for almost 30 years and there are days, that I want to give up! it is sooo different than it was when I started. But when I feel like giving up, usually some student says something incredibly sweet, and it melts my heart and I keep going!

  59. Kim Walker says:

    As I am sitting here, before going to bed, God pointed me towards this. I was kind of thinking just how tired I am and how little time is left to try to get thru everything I still need to teach. I am a High School Social Studies teacher in a small school in central Nebraska. I can put a name on the apathetic kid, the one being destroyed by bullies, and all the other kids you mentioned. This makes 21 years for me. I’ve got less ahead of me than behind me. Being newly divorced this year has just made it harder. It gets harder every year to get geared back up to slog thru the trenches. This is going on my wall to help me for next year. Keep the faith, brothers and sisters. We do make a difference.

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  61. Janet Hyde says:

    Wow how I needed to read this today. I am into my 21st year of teaching and have never got so close to giving up as in the last two years or so. And yet I find myself digging deep just one more time for just one more day and then I seem to go on on for a while.

  62. Jill tiderman says:

    We are a unique tribe of beautiful soldiers. Cheers to the moments we connect and win the battle with ease and excitement connecting we made the difference and here’s a loud prayer of strength and grace to get up another morning and do it all again♡2♡

  63. Rachael says:

    Here is something to inspire teachers. An international education system that works, needs to be introduced. An education system where students, teachers and parents are involved, responsible and inspired…Here is an idea….

    ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_build_a_school_in_the_cloud?language=en

  64. Paula Showalter says:

    Thank you. One of my colleagues shared this just after the on-the-way-to-the-bathroom break and we both talked about how tired we are. After 25 years, 15 in my current high school, I am tired. Testing exsaughts everyone and seems to encourage student shut down. This year I have freshmen and seniors. Two groups that are truly needy- and life sucking. But they are also why I chose to teach English. And getting students to READ is really the ultimate challenge, because there is always s movie for that. But I try to show them why I love the lit, and how it can have a place in the real world. And it was said- living and teaching in a transparent way is meaningful yo students. The comments and feed back I get is that I’m a real person, and I have bad days just like they do.
    But it really is a calling. It is a service. And the “tips” I get are when the kids find me on Facebook and let me know I helped them become who they are. And that is truly the road less traveled.
    “Mama Show”
    Rancho Verde HS

  65. Jennifer says:

    I taught students with special needs for 22 years (all ages and levels of ability). I’m now finishing my second year as an assistant principal, split between two elementary schools. I completely understand what you are feeling. I made a change to adminstration because I can still help kids by supporting staff. I also get to interact with students every day. I think everyone who works in a school has this feeling this time of year. But we’ll be back in August so it must be worth it!

  66. triglady says:

    I think all feel this way no matter what level they teach or what subject. After 33 years the question becomes
    “Do I want to retire from something I love to do even on the bad days?.

  67. Joann Ploeger says:

    Teachers! Please hang in there! I have a great grandson who is just finishing first grade as one of the top students and another one who will be there in three years!!!! They are counting on you! You are a special kind of STRONG!

  68. I needed this today. Thank you so much!

  69. cindy day says:

    You nailed it! I am so very tired…32 years, 2 years of sick/annual leave = 34 years…retiring at the end of this school year…31 days and counting. As a school counselor, I’ve seen it all. Your messages reminds of the apathetic student yesterday with whom we had a parent conference. Did it change anything? Probably not but we continue to hope that somehow, some day he will get it. And this is a calling; not everyone is called to this mission field. And it is a mission field. Sometimes we as educators are the only stability kids have, where life can be “normal” for a time. Kudos to all of us who keep going back day after day, year after year. We don’t always see the results of our impact but we know it is immeasurble.

  70. Stephanie S H says:

    God Bless you! I couldn’t have said it better. Its as if you were reading my mind.Thank you for the encouragement.

  71. Linda Storie says:

    I am a very tired 4th grade teacher. I read this whole post & it touched me of course. We are a different breed that is for sure. Not enough thanks for what we do. I still try to make a difference each & every day. I have never said, read & do questions at the end of story. I try to engage my students in various ways. I do love what I do but not as much as I did about 13 years ago. Too much secretary work, etc. I just try to love my students each year & give them what they need, mostly love!

  72. Misti Gil says:

    Oh, I just may read this every single day for the next month. I, too, teach seniors who checked out long ago. Thank you for posting this, friend. So, so encouraging.

  73. L says:

    Thank you, thank you. There have been so many days this year that I have wanted to give up. I too have burned the midnight oil trying to make algebra lessons interesting and relevant to my self contained classes. The stress of being told that the kids need to “fail the class if they fail the end of year test”. Some days I think I care more than they do. Thank you for reminding me why I was called to this profession.

    • Fail the class if the fail the test! Wow. That is a stressful condition…I really don’t even have words for it. What a flawed system we work in every day. Goes to show how much the students need us in their corner. Someone has to be…

  74. Angie Christine says:

    I’m in tears. I genuinely love our kids. They make me to want to quit often. I want to see the best in them & encourage them to the point where they develop a desire for a better life. I know that some of our kids won’t ever leave their comfort zone (even tho there’s no comfort there) because they are too afraid to try anything different. But I still try to spark something in their hearts & minds. I believe we all have a purpose – the kids too. Every day I hope to plant a positive seed that we all can water. I pray for these kids. I pray for their minds, their hearts, their parents, and influences outside of the school. And I pray for all of you. I get hurt physically every now & then but that doesn’t shake me. But I get my heart broken almost daily when these kids come to me & tell me what’s happening in their lives. I just keep hoping for miracles for them and us, every day. Injuries to my body & heart are all worth it if I can make a positive difference in at least one child’s life, even if it’s just for a moment.

  75. Kcondra says:

    This is just what I needed to read. A couple of days ago, I was pondering my choice to teach at a large public high chool…and a revelatory thought occurred to me. I don’t know if I could love a job that didn’t make me cry sometimes. I need to care deeply about what I do, and caring brings pain. It’s life, and I am living it,

  76. Tonita says:

    This was a refreshing article to read, thank you! 41 school days to go, but who’s counting? I have noticed in the last 5 years or so that children have really changed- lack of respect for authority, their sense of entitlement and they like to question our authority. It all goes back to the parents. I feel like we are parenting these children because their parents are stressed, often holding two jobs to make ends meet. They often say “yes” to their kids because it is easier than to discipline. Who suffers in the end? The children suffer. The push for the 21st century learning and teaching makes it more stressful for us teachers too. New curriculums created and lots of demands put on educators can really bring our morale down. Just let us teach. To top it off, there are parents who have no respect for what we do and want more and more from us because they expect it. I have had a very challenging year teaching 26 children in Grade 4 although I have 21 years teaching experience under my belt. I returned to school after an extended leave in September 2015 due to my husband’s health scare-(he had open heart surgery) and the passing of my mother. I was hoping that I could through this year with as little stress as possible but boy was I wrong. I apologize for the rant but teaching children has really changed since I started my career in 1994. Wishing all you teachers a smooth and happy ending to this school year. Looking forward to a fresh start of teaching music and drama ONLY to a variety of classes. Music is my passion.
    God bless you all!

  77. T. S. says:

    This is beautiful. I’m on the precipice of changing professional careers out of teaching. As I read, you try to inspire hope. I have 9 years of classroom teaching.. spaced out over two decades. I would love to inspire the next generation of learners. But they have worn me down. Education itself is broken forcing good teachers to act counterintuitive to accommodate these educational reforms that don’t actually improve the educational experience due to improper training or that one teacher that doesn’t quite get on board so the kids lose (that’s me now). We have crunched curriculum down below the abilities of the students to understand it psychological study shows they cannot process. WhIle based on the old curriculum and methods we began inclusion no wait now it is mainstreaming no wait interrelated no wait …. but with the increase in rigor and decrease in mental ability all occurring simultaneously we have truly set this generation up. Good luck to those of you in the trenches. The entitled self righteous child of the future being able to rate you … and determine if your career continues as discipline dissappears into ineffective positive intervention which also goes against human nature and the psychology of children. Sorry this rant did not have the qualities of a good essay because I was educated Pre NCLB so my teachers must have been terrible.

  78. Vicki Myers says:

    Sounds like you were “called” to be a teacher. As a fellow believer – I know I was! We are the light and the salt…

  79. Donnalyn Gaines says:

    God Bless You! I felt like I was writing the words and the recipient as well. Thank you so much, I feel recharged!

  80. Thank you so much for this.

  81. When you join me in retirement you will be amazed to discover that those students who frustrated you the most, who were rude or angry, who would not perform up to the potential you saw in them are the very ones who will track you down in the grocery store to ask if you remember them. (Thank you, God, for giving me the ability to look at an adult – or near adult – and mentally shrink them back to elementary school and recognize them!) They are the ones whose thank yous will reduce you to tears. Keep teaching! You ARE making a difference!

  82. Valerie says:

    I had been blessed with some teachers I could also call friends. Some teachers were better than others. After reading this posts and the comments I’ve come to realize that I had more times if being a naughty student way to many times. As none of you were any of my teachers I would like to apologize to you all on behalf of those who are like I was, thinking we were ok but were not.
    As a nurse, I have a love of patient teaching so I have a grasp of the difficulty of trying to get a subject across and the importance of follow through in life. This includes subjects such as medications, diets, wound care, and soooo much more. The choice of noncompliance is there and when it is chosen so many patients turn on the clinician and blame us. As I am detail oriented and it is my desire that they live in the best health possible I do my best to use whatever resources I can that they can learn in the way they can rightly recieve the information. Like you all, I felt like I was hitting my head against the wall for 30+ years, especially the last 10 in home healthcare.

  83. coachmaryg says:

    I taught special education for 38 years and retired 7 years ago. I loved my job, loved the kids, and enjoyed helping students realize that they are awesome and could actually learn. I miss everything about my job except the paperwork and meetings.
    I remember a night when I nearly quit my job. It was Open House and not one parent showed up. We had worked so hard getting our room and our work ready for their families to see. I cried all the way home. In the morning, I asked them to put their hand up if their family came to their classroom. They looked around, their eyes got big, and one boy said, “No one came?” I said ” If they and their families didn’t care, I should stop caring!” A voice from the back of the room said,”Please don’t stop caring!” How could I ignore

  84. Scott Stine says:

    Okay. But what about the eight novels I’ve written in the last three years? Hasn’t thirty-two years of this been enough?

  85. This is brilliantly written and just the push (shove?) I needed to make it to The End. Good luck as you finish out your year and know that you’ve given me fuel to finish mine.

    Christine, Grade 5 Teacher, 17 years and counting…

  86. Julie Quah says:

    I learn that if we look at the kids as “work in progress”, and expect messiness as we deal with them, and know that they will make dumb decisions or do stupid things because of their lack of life experiences, then our calling is to help them recalibrate their bearing. It takes time and effort. This is what we do. This is how we value add their lives.

  87. Marie Gatzmer says:

    Hang in there, teachers. You never know how you are affecting the kids. We live in their hearts, maybe it was a kind word, or an encouraging idea.Then you hear from them years down the road telling you how much of an effect you had on them. It makes all the hassle as if it was nothing. It makes you proud to see how they have pulled themselves up and are successful. Teaching is a special calling and takes a special person to choose it. There are good and bad days but when you are retired, you have many stories , and memories to treasure. I loved my years of teaching, 25 of them in Kensington. I miss “my kids” but they live on in my heart. I hope and pray that they are successful and have a happy in life.
    Marie Gatzmer

  88. Ms Connell says:

    Teachers are so dedicated to the lives of their students trying to make each one feel valued and worth all of the work and sacrifices, time spent away from the family and financial despair because they want to provide recognition of the day to day triumphs . I am now retired but as this article says, I must have been called to teaching and I listened and did my best for 37 years. I thank God for teaching because I have met some of the most wonderful students, families, and the children of my students as they too, walked into my classroom. I continue those bonds today with many and without them my life would feel empty. So I thank God for calling me to a lifetime of learning with my students and their parents … Teachers are a gift to those they teach and beyond.

  89. Pj says:

    Thank you. You brought me to tears with the truth of your testimony. We all live it, but can’t always find the words to explain it.

  90. Gloria Lueras-Kidd says:

    Can so relate to your topic, but what resonates most profoundly with me is your call for support. I totally believe in teachers supporting teachers. Very few outside this profession truly understand what we experience daily. Yes, let us support one another in this life calling.

  91. Barbara Sims says:

    Beautiful and touchingly! Also, the truth.

  92. Erica says:

    Thank you all for the words of encouragement!!! I am in my first official year of teaching. I had an interim last year in first grade and kindergarten. This year I was offered a job in middle school and here I am. Every day I go in and give it my all while the students disrupt my lesson, refuse to complete their work, and constantly disrespect me. By the time fall break rolled around I had decided teaching is not the career for me. I thought, and still think, there is no way I can do this for 30 + more years. But as you all have said it is a calling and God does not give us more than we can handle. These children need someone to care more than they do. They need someone to push them further than they would push themselves. Every day I want to give up but every morning I tell myself today is a new day. I’m just glad that I am not the only one. It really helps knowing that all of the great teachers feel the same way. I guess it just comes with the job. Thank you so much for the words of inspiration. I think I’m going to hang this on my wall as well. I can’t wait for the day that a child comes back to me and tell me that I made a difference in their lives. God bless us all!!!

    • Juanita says:

      Erica, believe me, when just one comes back and tells you that you made a difference in his/her life, you will feel like every “tired” day was worth it.

  93. Jackie says:

    Well said. Growing up in a very dysfunctional home, the most important thing that I absorbed in K – 12, was the love of my teachers. The subject matter took root to a degree, but the LOVE shown to me in the course of the day, over the years, impacted my life the most. Understanding, affirmation and kindness go a long way with some students, such as myself. That portion of the teaching experience must not be underrated. It is sad that today’s studentbody encompasses much resistance and obstinence which drain the energies of teachers who are giving their all. Let selfless love prevail and don’t lose heart. ❤

  94. Leigh says:

    This has been one of the most difficult years in my 15-year career. I’ve felt burned out since January, and it’s truly been a struggle to get up and face students that I love and a job I used to adore with the stuff that’s happened. But we do it. It’s our purpose, and I’m hoping that switching schools will help rekindle my love again. Right now my main feeling is frustration and resentment, and that’s not the person or teacher I truly am and I hate it. Thank you for this post because it helped validate my feelings as well as give me a reality check with regard to my own attitude. Twenty school days to go, and I can do it!

  95. Cathy C says:

    A great reminder what teaching is all about…the children…and the love they search for! Thank you for the reminder…we need to read this each and everyday!

  96. Cesar Alban says:

    Your journey is not over Tracey J. Paid or not paid, you know these kids still need a Tracey Jones in their lives. Do not stop doing what you love. May the Lord continue to bless your journey.

  97. Monica says:

    Very timely message! Thanks!

  98. Lion Messi says:

    :)

  99. Lion Messi says:

    monica hi

  100. Anon says:

    I have just had a terrible day (one of many) brought about by destructive colleagues.. I know my students appreciate me.. even when they are having bad days they can bring a smile to my face when I have just had a terrible interaction with a colleague.

  101. onejamia says:

    I loved this post! Lord knows I’m tired and counting the days down for this year. Feels good to know I’m not alone. Thank you for sharing :)

  102. Beth Fuller says:

    Beautifully and powerfully written. I’ll definitely be sharing this link!

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  104. Juanita says:

    It’s so wonderful to see another teacher in the forces of those of us who see the worst, experience the worst but see the need and keep on teaching, and, in many cases, loving. No GOD does not call us to the easy, but HE does provide us with the stamina to proceed and succeed.

    I’m now retired, but I actively gave teaching 30+ years; my pay has come over the years through former students who have sought me out to thank me for not giving up on them even when they’d sometimes given up on themselves, Every tired day, every day that I waned to quit has been replenished by the small and large successes of “my children”. In many ways I still teach. Teaching is my calling, and I will teach just as long as HE allows me!

    You just continue along the path GOD has set for you. Pitiful how HE ha been taken out of school, but it is HE who calls and sets on the way the “True Teacher”!

  105. Johanna Frey says:

    This brought a tear to my eye, thanks for sharing and the uplifting message. From someone also at home ‘nursing their bruises’ :)

  106. Kathy Lombardo says:

    To all my fellow colleagues, this message is so important because it reminds us that “Teachers make that difference in a child’s life.” God bless you all.

  107. Gigi says:

    I, too, was called to be a teacher. After 36 years, I took today off to explore my retirement options before signing that contract again. Yes, it’s about the kids-always. And I love my kids with all my heart. However, a big part of my job, requires the cooperation of colleagues I work with. I am a pull-out teacher. I have so much resistance from them that for the first time ever, I’m wondering if I want to keep fighting. Part of me knows I’m the only advocate for my kids, but part of me says,” let someone else do it.” Another position for this job is not available in surrounding areas, so I would have to go back into the regular classroom, which I do not want to do. Even my job has changed so much, I don’t feel like what I’m teaching “hard” enough. I’m trying to listen to what God is telling me to do. I’m just not sure….

  108. fmhamilton says:

    Gah. This is so true. I’ve literally been wondering how I can get it together to teach again next year. While I love my job the exhaustion is not only physical but emotional from giving your heart to so many little ones. Time for friends and family is limited and right now sometimes I just need to be alone rather than trying to chat it up with someone else. 4 more weeks…

  109. Eydie says:

    I really needed to read this right now. Thank you so much. I am NOT alone!!!

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