As A Teacher, I Wish You Knew (Part 2) #iWishTeach

Wow, if only I knew how much this blog series was going to take hold!  Last week’s post, “As An Admin, I Wish You Knew” stirred so much conversation!  I am thrilled about the interest from educators, from around the world, who wanted to share their voice for Part 2!

So here is part 2!  I reached out to all of my online connections in education and asked them to answer this question….”As a Teacher, I wish you knew…..”  Listed below are their responses.

These are from educators all over the world who chose to take part!  I found so much truth, honesty, and heart in many of their responses!  And look for Part 3 next week, as we hear from PARENTS!

That I wish more people took what I see as my calling seriously. I’m not just a teacher; I pour my heart and soul into the lives of the next generation.”

I try my best each day, each week, each month and each year to help every student grow (academically, socially and emotionally). Sometimes I feel like my best isn’t enough. “ 

I wish you knew how hard it is for me to test your children for the wide variety of testing that I am obligated to do. I hate it. It tears me up inside to see the students wiggle in chairs as they are tied down with invisible ropes to take a test to get a number. Your child is NOT a number to me. They are a unique gift to this world and this way of testing cannot and will NEVER reflect the miracle your child is. I am so sorry that I have to do this to them. It hurts my heart.”

That during the school year almost every minute of my day is spent thinking about how best to help my students. I wish you knew how much I want to be trusted to do what I know is best for them, rather than given directives that are not child based. I wish you knew that I want to be the best teacher that I can and help every student I come in contact with, so that they can develop into lifelong learners and great people who are highly successful.” 

That I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about ways to help your child.”

“That I hate grades–probably more than you and your child do–and that makes me the most conscientious grader your child will ever have. I want all my students to make straight As, and, contrary to popular belief, I take no joy whatsoever in “giving” a student a low or failing grade. “

“That I have two children of my own, and I k ow exactly how you feel.”

“That I wanted to be a teacher. I didn’t become one because, as people joke about teachers,”I couldn’t think of anything better to do” or “I wasn’t smart enough to do something better,””

We are not just teachers. We are mentors, family therapists, nurses, psychologists. 

“How much time I spend away from my own family to make sure the 120 kids that I teach have an opportunity to shine, grow and succeed.”

“That I go back to my classroom every night after my kids go to bed to make sure the next day in my class is the BEST day for everyone else.”

“I wish you knew that I want my students to be brave and bold and try new things. Never be afraid to make mistakes because your brave actions might inspire others to try new things. Your actions may show others it’s ok to make mistakes because that’s how we learn. I wish students and parents knew we become a family and we are all in this really hard thing together. We’re going to laugh and sometimes want to give up, but we’re a team.”

As a teacher, I wish you knew how much I love. Everything that I do, everything I say, every standard and expectation that I set comes from a place of love. All the time I spend doing non-teaching paperwork or attend endless in-service and faculty meetings comes from a place of love. Every activity, all the homework that I assign and all of the tests and quizzes that I write are done out of love. Every conversation, every new idea and every different way that I try to explain something is done from a place of love. This doesn’t mean that I love to do all of these things. As a matter of fact, a lot of these are things I would rather not have to do. But, I love what I teach. I love how important it is and I love that I have the opportunity every day to be able to come to school and express that love of learning. This would be enough to be able to have a successful and fulfilling career for most, but for me its goes much deeper that just the love of what I teach. 

Ultimately and what the most important thing that I wish you knew is how much I truly love the kids that I teach. I love when the light of knowledge is switched on in a student. I love the student who doesn’t care because I know that I can make a difference. I love the student who is bored because I know I can get his attention. I love the student who is passionate about what I teach because I know that I can stoke that fire even hotter. I love the student with a dozen accommodations because I know that I can find a way to break through. I love the student who is a discipline problem because I know all that student wants is to be heard and understood. I love all my students because I have never forgotten what it’s like to be a kid. All the kids that I teach are in their own special way a mirror of the student I used to be. And the most important thing that I wanted when I was a kid was to be loved. So, I love, respect and treat the kids I teach the same way that I wish I had been loved when I was young. Love is the most powerful and positive emotion and I am extremely fortunate to give that love freely by teaching.”

I wish that people realized that teachers are people too. We make mistakes, and sometimes it effects 150 students. We try our best, but sometimes we just slip up. I wish people realized teachers are people too, and didn’t talk to us like we just made the biggest mistake in all of America. As a teacher, I admit to my students when I mess up to show them that it’s important to own up to our mistakes, and sometimes students respond with “Gah Ms. SoAndSo you can’t make mistakes!” The worst is when parents berate you over email for a small mistake. It kills my confidence, and makes me feel like I can’t do anything right. I wish people treated me like I was a person too.”

That I lay awake agonizing over things I can’t fix at 2am; your child’s progress, my lack of patience, that email from an angry parent, a better way to teach the lesson I did that day… It does nothing but undermine my confidence and give me heartburn but I want you to know that I CARE.”

As a teacher, I wish you knew how much I sacrifice in my own life for my students. My nights and weekends are spent analyzing data, speaking to colleagues about ways to make my classroom the most effective and efficient, and planning unforgettable learning experiences. I believe so much in your potential and in the possibility of YOU that I’m willing to devoted my time and energy off contract just to be a part of making your dreams come true. I wish you knew why I push you so hard in class, why I won’t give in and tell you an answer, why I refuse to cut corners or allow you to cut corners just because it would be easier. I wish you knew that watching you discover your own potential and passions and abilities is what keeps me coming back year after year. The challenges you pose with your diversity, background stories, and life experiences don’t intimidate me…they motivate me. You motivate and inspire me. You are why I never give up, never let up, never give in. You. You are what matters. And I am honored to be a teacher.”

Just because we don’t have a classroom full of kids in the summer doesn’t mean we aren’t working all summer! We are always thinking and buying stuff for our classroom. We love your kids as our own and want nothing more than to build life long learners that love others. We never stop thinking and praying for our students even five years after you have taught them. “

That reading to your children and in front of them is probably the single most important thing you can do to help them be prepared to begin school. And don’t stop just because they start school. Reading is so important. “

That when I look into your child’s eyes, I see my own children. I know that you are hoping your child will be nurtured and valued when you send them off to school. Just know that I strive to do that everyday.”

I wish you knew how much these little children touch our lives and hearts forever. That we really do miss them when they go. That we can’t wait to see who we get next year … even the little stinkers!”

Everywhere I go and everything I see connects to my classroom. My job is to teach children and every human interaction I have or see is an opportunity to learn. My eyes are always open and the wheels are always spinning.”

In the end, so many of the comments come back to this….love.  Teachers love kids!  It’s not always easy, and we don’t always get it all right, but we try and try again!

Thanks to all who participated!  I look forward to sharing next week’s post from the perspective of Parents!

***want to share what you wish people knew about teaching?  Share using the hashtag #iWishTeach

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