To cap off the class, we had a writing marathon (read about it in my classroom here). I was blown away by the pieces these teachers shared. They were heartfelt and real and powerful and funny. And it's always so nice to have time to be inspired to write and share with colleagues.
One of my favorite prompts was generated by a lovely teacher from the Dayton area. She asked, "What is one thing you wish you had known when you started teaching?" Below is my response.
One thing I wish I had known when I started teaching is how hard it would be. I thought if I could get my classroom cute enough, and know my content, and get my lessons organized enough, everything would be okay.
No one told me that often parents don’t follow through and maybe they don’t even really know how to be a parent. And that colleagues don’t always agree and that other teachers can sometimes be really negative and sometimes you don’t have the energy to fight for what you believe in. And the work just never ends. And weekends and summer is a myth. And the emails and calls keep coming and there will never be enough of me to go around.
But one thing I have realized is how great it is. It’s the parents or students who tell you what a difference you made. Or the light bulbs you see illuminate for the first time. Or getting to not only tell, but show a kid just how much you believe in them. Or getting to watch younger teachers grow in skill and confidence. Or problem-solve with a team and really know the work you are doing is having an impact. Going to work each day knowing I will never be bored, and even when I think, “Why am I here?,” I know my day was never wasted.