There are moments in teaching that makes my heart heavy.
Whether it is the disappointment faced by a student rejected. Or the sorrow that weighs down some of my students as they come through my doors. The uncertainty some face. The anxiousness that travels with others. The sadness, the lost joy. They bring this along, into our rooms, and it becomes one more thing we have to address and work around. One more thing to add to our day and to our hearts.
We don’t leave those worries or fears of our students behind when we close our door. They travel with us in the car. They walk in through our front door, trailing us into our homes as we worry whether that child will ever be okay. Worry whether that child will have something to eat or will be back the next day. Worry about what that child may do that night. We push them aside and focus on our own lives but they stay in our hearts as the hours go by.
Sometimes those worries wake us up at night and we remember to hug our own kids a little more, tell them they matter a little louder.
So we return the next day with our hearts still heavy, not sure what to do other than to love those kids as if they were our own. When a new worry shows up we make room for that one as well. We carry it with us because we are stronger than the children we support. We carry it with us so that they are not alone. We carry it with us so that maybe, just maybe, they will find a moment of relief.
I may not be a superhero but when it comes to the children in my life, I have super hero strength. No child should have to carry their worries alone, that’s why I am there. And that’s why I teach.
I am a passionate (female) 5th grade teacher in Wisconsin, USA, proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children. I have no awards or accolades except for the lightbulbs that go off in my students’ heads every day. First book “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classroom Back to Our Students Starting Today” can be pre-bought now from Powerful Learning Press. Follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.