I’m the girl who loved school, but school seemed to hate me. As I grew my math skills shrunk. As I studied, my brain virtually betrayed me. I wanted to finish with flying colors! Instead, school finished me. Heartbreaking events pushed my dreams further and further from my reach. I wanted to negotiate time, but my academic career continued out of my view.
Devastated, I withdrew and did my best to start anew. Life was challenging. There were (and are) times I thought I would never get my feet on the ground. One event of another seemed to define me in ways I did not want. Still, time marched on.
Now, in my mid-forties with three children in elementary I hear my children struggle to belong academically and socially. Each day turning myself inside out to help them find resolution and peace among their priers and teachers. Some days are so painful I am not sure how to face it all again, for them or myself. Other days, I am happy. Excited to see progress and friendships developing.
Back in the struggle with that girl who could not seem to win and now, with new passengers. I imagine this must be how a commanding officer feels leading his soldiers forward.
Will it ever end?
Probably not, but I see you.
I promise I see you, working late on a lesson plan.
I promise I see you, trying to manage your own life and another heard of children that do not belong to you.
When the day has come and you’ve lost a family member, but still face my child’s unending needs, I see you.
When you give birth and all your responsibilities seem to drain your reserves, I see you.
I see you trying to grade papers and take care of your own responsibilities.
Arriving early to school with your own children, never feeling like you will have a damn minute to yourself from all the children, I see you.
When you work to organize their activities so you can curl up in a ball and get 10 minutes rest to make it through the day, I see you.
As we mark the first day of school in our calendars, I see you, planning all the events that happen before we even begin school.
I see you standing outside watching my kids playing.
I see you on lunch duty.
I see you doing your best to interact with your cohorts who seem as challenging as the children you teach.
I see you volunteering, planning and showing up for activities outside your normal work hours.
I see you educating yourself.
I see you reinventing yourself to find new ways to connect with me and mine.
I see you making what you have work.
I see you digging into your own pockets for your classroom.
I see you struggle to ask for what you need.
I see you.
I appreciate you!
You are a wonderful teacher, a great mother, an unlimited resource, an equal provider, a neat friend, and a unique individual.
There is only one you and when I see you, I hope you see me and all the appreciation in my eyes for all that you do.
This year, I hope you have a wonderful year. I hope this year your needs are met a little better. You are heard a little easier. You fight for what you need with fruitful results. I hope you find new friends and easily connect with old ones. I hope your extra activities outside of your hectic day bring you more pleasure then last year.
Most of all, I hope you find the resources you need to be a teacher,
and a woman (or man), fighting the fight.
Thank you for your service and for taking care of my children,
Julie (and the Clancy family)
P.S. Although I am not a teacher, I do follow this one when I need help. 🙂