The world is certainly a precarious place these days. Working for a public school brings up a host of emotions every single day. Am I a valued employee? Is what I do making a difference? Even though I want better pay, isn’t the satisfaction of a job well done part of what I signed up for?
So many things have changed in education over the pandemic years. Online has more validity than before. Blended learning (a combination of face-to-face and “flipped learning” done at home) is better understood. Students overall have learned to navigate the digital world. But is all of that enough?
Tired. Overworked. Afraid. Anxious. Worried. Angry. Did I mention tired?!?
Caring about students and teachers doesn’t pay the bills. With rising costs of everything and no pay raises, one can’t help but wonder if this is worth it. Could I do something else? Should I take that higher paying job and step into the unknown?
Maybe. But then again, students don’t have that choice. Students in a public school come to the building with a need for support, trust, and skills. We signed up for that. I signed up for that.
Getting weary from “fighting the good fight” is normal. The external pressures in a pandemic aren’t normal. But they’re real. The negative comments, the taking of sides based on a belief, and the constant barrage of new rules can take a toll on adults. But it affects kids in a more profound way. They are looking to us to lead the way. They want reassurance that we will rise above the petty, divisive cultural mayhem that has ensued. They need us to have level heads.
Does it get to me? You bet. Do I sometimes want to quit my job and move far away and live off the land? Yes. (But only if I can take my tech with me!) Do I literally cry out with frustration at the state of things? Sadly, yes.
But hope always exists. The smile on a child’s face when they realize you care about them. The gratitude of the overworked teacher when you move alongside them and lift the burden. The realization that we are all in this together regardless of how we approach it. Those things make it worthwhile.
Find your moment. Find your smile. Never give up on the possibilities of those around you. And take time to reflect on what really matters to you. Continue to persevere.
I know I sound idealistic. Yet I can’t help but think that we can make every day better if we only choose it. Choose kindness over pettiness. Choose hope over despair. Choose the common good over selfishness. Choose to live each day with purpose.
Tired? Yup. Financially burdened? Yup. Blessed beyond belief? You bet. It’s all in your perception of what truly matters. You matter. ~ B