It is said that teachers, in their first few years of teaching, go through a lot of disillusionment… As work accumulates and the pressure is turned up, we start to feel exhausted, like we are climbing a mountain that just continues to grow…becoming impossible to overcome and see an end.
Before our little winter break, I was feeling all of this and so much more. Even after having some time off, I still feel like I am burning the candle at both ends…maybe even from the side.
However, the littlest of achievements now mean the most. Seeing one spark of recognition and understanding lights a wildfire in my heart. For example…
I was going through some of the introductory information for earth science. I was attempting to elicit answers from one of my classes where I seem to do more managing than teaching sometimes. To my shock and surprise, a student that never raising his hand to answer a question and the spends most of his time staring at the posters on the wall had his hand raised high and was looking right at me. I had asked the students to name some examples of types of energy. I called on him, not sure what I should expect. To my delight he started rattling off types of energy like a teacher’s dream. I can only imagine the amount of happiness that spread over my face!
I had spent most of the week struggling to get my bearings and regain my inspiration for teaching. In that small moment, I was inspired. I was inspired to keep swimming through my struggles, my challenges. I was inspired to remember that I am in this for them, the students. I have to be the role model for my expectations of them. Time and time again, they will reach those expectations and soar beyond. I cannot be discouraged by the moments where a lesson does not work or I feel like I cannot breathe because I have too much on my plate. I must persevere. If I want my students to have GRIT. I must have GRIT!