It was 11:37 p.m. on Tuesday when I realized school was officially back in session. That was the exact moment we stapled the last plastic leaf onto a “happy first day” envelope, and I turned to Alix to tell her she needed some sleep.
Growing up this was no different. I remember my father coming home from school only to sit at the dining room table to do work. Then after dinner he would return to the same chair to prepare some more items for the following day. When I entered the workplace I thought this was the norm. You go to work, leave to come home and work, eat dinner and prepare to go back to work. I was wrong.
In my opinion, public perception believes teachers get off 1-2 hours before everyone else, they “only” teach 4-5 classes a day, get multiple vacations around holidays, and have a long “summer vacation”. To the people who believe this, I roll my eyes and laugh. For the last 3-4 years I’ve lived with a teacher, who is now my wife, and as many of you know I refer to as a rockstar. I’ve met several of her former co-workers and well over 100 former students, and the comments are always are the same – Alix is a rockstar.
Yesterday morning as the school bus drove by and I began noticing the influx of social media posts about children heading back to school, I couldn’t help but think about that other group – the teachers. The individuals who have been thinking about their classrooms for weeks, their lesson plans for months, and how they would engage their students for the last several days. Again, at 11:37 p.m. Alix finished up her introduction to students she had never met.
So, teachers, I’m rooting for you. You face more challenges on a daily basis than many of us realize, and you’re never going to get the credit you deserve. Still, you push forward. You’re going to be criticized, you’re going to spend more time thinking about certain students, you’re going to carry the weight of others’ challenges, and you’re going to spend countless nights finding new ways to reach those who are struggling.
This week, as students talk about their first impressions around the dinner table, I’ll be sitting on the couch listening to Alix brief me on her thoughts. So begins another school year of stories and new challenges. Soon enough our calendar will begin to include after school functions, sporting events, and other items students ask her to attend.
Teachers, you have an ally over here. Good luck on your first week with students, I imagine they appreciate the work you’ve put in more than you know. I hope your unwavering dedication to every day makes it into the stories students tell each night.
Have a wonderful school year!