I’m not usually one to put teaching above any other profession. Every job is different and taxing in complete unique ways. If I stood in your shoes, I might not make it until lunch on a regular work day. If you stood in mine, you may murder a teenager before 2nd period ended. To each their own. But, let me tell you, I would put teaching up against any job as being one of the most exhausting career paths.
We plan lessons and track data, of course. But the real meat of teaching happens in a thousand on-the-fly conversations that come up throughout the day. You have to be quick thinking, decisive, understanding, firm, flexible, kind, harsh, smart, humble, funny, and serious – sometimes all in a matter of 10-15 minutes or so.
There are days I leave work that I get in my car and turn off my phone and the radio and just sit in silence for five minutes before driving home because my brain has just hit capacity. I’ve hit my word limit for the day. And if I come home and, heaven forbid, sit down on the couch, I will fall asleep in five minute, flat.
And on those days when your job just absolutely drains your brain, your body, and your emotions, you better have a killer group of friends to pick you up and cheer you on.
I happen to be lucky enough to have those kinds of friends up and down my hallways in my school. My hallway is lined with teachers who love teaching, who love our students, who work hard, and who give 110% every day of the year. And because we all give, we all need sometimes, too. Sometimes it’s a pat on the back when you just taught your heart out for weeks and your students bomb their tests. Sometimes it’s a high five when that one student that you just haven’t reached all year finally raises their hand and answers a question correctly in class. Sometimes it’s a discreet head nod of encouragement when you’re facing a raging parent in a parent/teacher conference. Sometimes it’s a shoulder to cry on when life just doesn’t go as planned.
Whether you are a teacher or not, whatever your profession, whatever your daily demands, nothing is better than having friends who’ve got your back.
These are mine.
And I’m so glad that they are.