With one week to go until school starts I am realizing more and more that I am not a Superhero. Don’t get me wrong, I would like to be and somedays I think I might even get pretty close to superhuman status but more often than not I fall very short.
The point of this post isn’t to whine about the fact that after multiple 12 hour days my room still isn’t ready for students or about me being tired before school even starts but instead comes out of concern that society expects all of our teachers to be Superheroes today. In a world where parents and kids can make their concerns, complaints, and comments viral in a matter of moments on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc it seems teachers must be near perfect to avoid being criticized publicly. Don’t get me wrong I believe parents and students have every right to have a voice in their education, but my question is why does it have to be on social media?
Here is what I know…today there are teachers across the country working to decorate classrooms, make lesson plans and improve their practice to prepare for the faces that will greet them on the first day of school. These teachers want to have the perfect classroom, the best lesson plans, and absolutely be the best teachers they can be but they won’t be every day.
There will be days that I will teach lessons that your kids will remember for years to come and there will be other days when what I thought was a good idea will fall flat and be forgotten before they walk out the door. That doesn’t mean I didn’t work hard planning both of those lessons.
There will be days when your child needs love and encouragement and I will make sure I spend a few extra minutes with them talking to them and letting them know I care and there will be other days when my words come across too sharp or I accidentally let my frustration show through too much. That doesn’t mean that I don’t care for every child that comes through my door in ways people who don’t teach have a hard time understanding.
There will be days when my classroom is a magical place for your children to learn and there will be days when I won’t be able to see what use to be my desk for the mounds of papers to be graded, paperwork to be completed, and information to go home. That doesn’t mean that I don’t take pride in the classroom that I am blessed to teach in.
My challenge to parents this year is to pause before you make the social media post complaining or commenting on your child’s teacher. I can assure you that they are trying. We all try hard even though it may show in different ways. If you have a concern share it with your child’s teacher. I can guarantee that almost all issues that occur between parents, teachers, and students are usually misunderstandings that can be addressed in five minutes in person. I can’t honestly think of one educational issue that will be improved with a social media post.
Teachers aren’t Superheroes but some days they get awfully close.