Yes, we love Seinfeld around my house. Even the 11 year old loves it. So, in honor of Festivus I figured I would write about teacher “Feats of Strength,” the kind that happen every day, not just on December 23.
- Flexibility: Flexibility seems to be a prerequisite for being a teacher. Schedule changes, new students, ever changing standards and expectations, parents popping in your classroom without notice, canceled classes, on the fly differentiation. All part of the daily grind for a teacher and all part of why I love education.
- Sleep: Even when teachers are sleeping they are devising individualized learning plans, creating engaging lesson plans, worrying about their students. Teaching consumes not only our waking hours.
- Schedules: I have read quite a few articles lately that mention teacher scheduling as the main reason educators burn out. The United States is notoriously bad at giving teachers the time needed for planning and professional development. But, somehow we make it work.
- Bathroom Breaks: Seriously, I bet no one can hold it like a teacher or use the restroom as fast as a classroom teacher. And, yet most of us continue to down coffee. Thank goodness for all my co-workers over the years, the ones who covered my class or stood in the hall with my students so I could make a run for it.
- Little Successes: Teachers are ok with small successes. We applaud every step our students make. We make note of each one. These small moments of triumph are our students’ feats of strength.
- Full minds. Full hearts: Our minds are full, but our hearts hold more. Over the course of a career we have hundreds of “kids.” We hold them in our hearts like they are our own. We know them inside and out after a year with them. We learn what makes them tick, what strategies work for them. We learn about their hobbies, their home lives. Their hopes and dreams become our own.
- The last day of school or the last day before holiday break: This could be the biggest feat of strength for a teacher, the day when teachers hold on for dear life and hope they can keep all their students occupied and on task. May the odds be ever in our favor on this day!