Being in education is hard. It’s physically, emotionally, and yes even spiritually draining. Being an educator is more than just showing up at work to do a job. Every one of us knows that. We work hours well past what our contracts say. We put in more of our own money than probably any other career. And we cry, laugh, get upset, have our hearts broken, smile, and pray over these kids on an daily basis.
And that can wear on you. It can make getting out of bed some days really tough. It can cause you to doubt your impact. It can take a toll.
So why do we stay in a field that drains us? Why do we continue showing up day after day when it often feels like we’re doing nothing except for spinning our wheels and getting more added to our already overflowing plates?
We do it because of those tiny bodies. Those children who show up every day with no other expectation than, “I hope my teacher is here today”.
We show up for that little girl who comes to school smiling because she knows it’s the only place she’s going to get a hug.
We show up for that child whose only 2 meals a day are the ones they get for breakfast and lunch (and the extra food someone may send home with them).
We show up for the little boy who knows he has to get an education so he can earn a living to help support those he loves.
We show up for that 4th grader who is told how worthless and stupid she is, at home every day. How she shows up knowing that teacher will tell her how worthy and loved she is.
We show up to see the lightbulb moment when a child finally gets a concept they’ve been struggling with for weeks.
We show up because we know we have that little one who runs into school with yet another story to share from the magical book they’re reading.
We show up because we have colleagues who are fighting what feels like insurmountable battles, and we’re the only person they have in their life they can confide in and count on.
We show up because we’re educators. That’s just who we are. And that’s what makes us different.