Being a teacher is the toughest job in the world. Our expectations are high and our compensation is low. We are expected to fix world problems, prepare every student for their future, and we are required to be a shinning example every second of the day.
Teaching is exhausting. With all the mandatory trainings, high stake testing, new policies, and ever changing targets, it is no wonder thousands of educators are leaving the profession each year. Even the greatest teachers have had those days where they question their purpose and wonder what’s the point? But these feelings are quickly subdued when they reach into their drawer and pull out a dusty, old yearbook to remind themselves of the lives they have touched and the success they have had.
They review pages of messages from former students that remind them of what drives them as an educator. They remember Michael, a struggling student ready to drop out, but was saved by long hours of mentoring after school.
They remember Janet, the homeless student that found a warm, safe environment in their classroom. And as they thumb through each yearbook they are reminded of the thousands of unexpected thank you’s from even the most challenging students.
These are the memories that keep teachers waking up early and staying late. These are the memories that we must remind ourselves of each and every day. Nothing else is more powerful than the messages of gratitude shared by our former students and we should no longer hide them in a drawer. These message should be shared and used as motivators for all educators. These are the messages that define our why.
Over the next several months, we want to share our messages with you and we hope you will be open to sharing with us. Together we can create a catalog of inspiration that will help each of us remember our purpose. By sharing the words of students, it will give all of us the strength to keep inspiring our students. Please join us as we share these messages and remind educators of their whys.
Ry and Justin