When you walk into a classroom and are expected to teach a classroom full of little minds, it initially sounds fun and exciting. First, you have trained for the job. Then, you went to a minimum of 4 years of college for this the science of education and the research based evidence from experts to make a classroom successful. Still, you worked in schools for hours upon hours in a multitude of classrooms and environments to learn the tricks of the trade. And for many of us… you do the job day in and day out, year after year. But the truth is… the job of teaching is impossible.
Why is Teaching Impossible?
The hurdles we are asked to jump are impossibly high. Everything seems to fall back on the classroom teacher and your to do list never gets shorter. I work to cross of items from my to-do list, 5 to 10 more items are added on to it. Some of these items like collecting assessment information or data have to be completed with students, without taking away from actual teaching time of course. Many other items like differentiation lesson plans with hands on activities and evaluations of data to make sub groups happen after school and typically unofficially require personal time to complete.
Teaching is Impossible?
Simply put, we do the impossible. We don’t do the job of teaching, we do the work of our hearts and strive to fulfill our passion to educate.
We educate. It is a process that is much deeper than a job.
How Do We Do the Impossible?
- First, you aid the development of each student as a whole child, teaching them more than standards. You teach them some of the initial steps to become functional members of society. Success can be measured in tiny steps showing individual progress. Progress not perfection.
- Secondly, you strive to make required assessments fun and meaningful verses a test. You loath test MORE than students do. There you make it as fun as possible.
- Then, you work to make a worksheet an experience or activity. No parent keeps a worksheet, instead they throw them away. Art lives on for years in a students heart, mind, and many times on the refrigerator. You make the lesson more than a copy… more than a time filler… so much more.
- Next, you find ways to get things for your classroom that you know will make learning fun and memorable. You fill out grants, ask PTO, and even look into Donors Choose. If there is something your class needs then you make sure they get it. Period. Additionally, you find the treasures in others garbage like paper towel rolls and newspaper.
- Furthermore, you teach each and every child that walks in your door. And you touch their hearts and you stretch their minds.
- You make them WANT to do work for you because you know they can. You teach them to believe in themselves.
- The paperwork. OH the paperwork. I hate it. You hate it. But we do it regardless.
- You improve your lessons year after year, changing with the standards. See, you contact others who are masters of their crafts to help you improve on your abilities. You share you skill set with others.
- Finally, you make your students want to behave anyways. Somehow you make your students want to come to school anyways. Then, you make them want to control themselves anyways.
So here is to you!
Finally, You! The doer of the impossible. The worker of magic. The educator of students. There will never be enough thank yous, never enough praise, and never enough hugs to tell you job well done.
But since you know… and I know… that you do an impossible job… you need no acts of appreciation. You will and simply do go about your small miracles each and everyday.