How many times have we heard this question from students, parents, co-workers, our own kids. A three letter word that can hit like a ton of bricks, causing considerable anxiety and stress.
I’ve asked myself this question a lot over the last few days. I can’t and won’t go into specifics of my own job, but it’s safe to say those three little letters have been used a lot around our district lately.
As I spent hours over the weekend looking at Core documents, trying to plan how they’d fit into my classroom, I asked that question. I know there are teachers our there who simply hit the road on the weekends, not opening a book until Monday morning. Why? Why am I banging my head against a wall? Why are my co-workers in the same boat if not worse?
I wish I could come back with a light hearted story or way of thinking, but right now, I just cannot. That question weighs heavily on my soul as I work through finding math assessments. It pulled as me as I read through the literacy and social studies core documents on the way to a swim meet over the weekend, and then again on Sunday as I worked in my classroom.
16 faces come into my room, smiling, ready to learn. They are my inspiration, my hope that this back breaking work is certainly worth the sweat equity I put into it. They do matter, each and every one of them. I owe them my best, each and every day, regardless of my own opinion on decision making at the local, state, and national level.
I’ll keep asking that question, why, and each time, that student will walk through the door with the look on his face of “I’m why, now knock it off and teach!” I need those days, those attitudes, to help me remember that it’s not about me, it’s about the students.
Because I can and always will fight for those students. If not me, then who?