Today was an overwhelming day. I just can’t seem to catch my breath or get caught up on anything. How am I behind on the third day of school…?
I just don’t know how to be what all these kids need. I truly feel like a first-year teacher again.
How do I support the student whose friends swear to me that she doesn’t speak English but her ELL teacher swears to me she does so don’t let them translate for her? What do I do for the student I won’t meet until January but–until then–I need to send work home weekly, give feedback, and keep a record of her grades, even though she will not appear in my gradebook? What do I do for the two kids in Intermediate who already have decided that they would rather not work, despite me putting my best foot forward and doing one of my favorite lessons that I spent a decent amount of money to supply? What do I do about calculus classes of thirty-seven and thirty-six students? How do I get to all of those sweet children in one academic hour? How will they possibly get any kind of quality time with their teacher? And without quality time, how can I show them the love they deserve?
These questions and more are flooding my mind.
I don’t know. I don’t write this to throw a pity party (ok, maybe a little). I write this mostly to show what public educators face daily. Three days of school and already those mountains are looking bigger than ever.
I know we move those mountains eventually, but right now…I don’t know.
I do know that one of my sixth hour students has taken the role of “calculator police” very seriously, and it is precious. I told her she was a God-send; she threw two thumbs up and said, “Thank you for that.”
I know that I had calculus students in my room during lunch and after school working on math already and (I think) enjoying it.
I know four past students texted me today to tell me they were thinking of me. I call that the work of the Holy Spirit, but you may disagree.
I know we do good things. I know this. But that doesn’t mean the good things aren’t also hard things.
As Francis of Assisi said (as a previous student reminded me today): “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”