My name is Pernille. This is my 11th year of teaching. 5th year of teaching 7th grade English. And I don’t think I have ever worked harder in my life than this year.
You may be feeling the same way.
I am not sure why this is the case. Perhaps for me, it is the change to 90-minute blocks. Perhaps it is the incredible needs that seem to be present this year. Perhaps it is the urgency with which we teach every year because we know that this year can be the difference between a child loving school or checking out. Between a child being a reader or writing it off. Whatever it is, it seems to present itself as a neverending stream of work, a mountain we attempt to climb only to see our footsteps crumble behind us as we slide further down.
And so this is my very public reminder to myself that the work will never be done. That every year we will be reminded that we wish we had had more time. That we wish we had had more ideas. More steps. More moments of clarity where the learning became cemented in new ways.
This is my public reminder that we are only human. That while we want to be everything for every child, we are also not alone. We are surrounded by others who feel the urgency of the mission as much as we do and together we are stronger. We don’t need to save anyone. We need to teach. We need to do the very best we can in the time that we have and then we need to stop. Take a break. Take a breath. We cannot run a marathon all year, no one can.
So give yourself a break. Do the work, do it with love, do your best, but then step away. Realize that part of teaching is that there is always something waiting for us. We are never truly done, there is always more to learn, practices to change, ideas to be given, but at some point, we have to say, “Good enough.” And then the next day, we start again.
My name is Pernille, I love my job, I love teaching, I am doing the best I can with what I have and for right now, that is good enough.