Because of Teaching

[written in Baltimore, MD, while teaching English in a Baltimore City Public high school]

I’ve been feeling burnt out, overwhelmed (and -worked), exhausted emotionallyphysicallypsyhologicallyandspiritually, and maybe what’s worst, discouraged, because of teaching lately. And while I still might grimace at the thought of going back to that classroom tomorrow, tonight I received a reminder about why I love my job so much. I attended a talk given by the former Health Commissioner of Baltimore, and he spoke about the homicides, homelessness and HIV that many of Baltimore’s youth endure. He described the broken system through which several are shuttled and the broken homes to which too many are forced to return. In short, he painted a picture of the despair that directly or indirectly affects nearly all of my students, and I immediately felt grateful to have the opportunity to show them love every.single.day.

So maybe I’ve been irritable about being asked to be an educator, entertainer, disciplinarian, mother, sister, friend, counselor, social worker, punching bag and butt of jokes simultaneously, all day, everyday. But I vow to walk through those doors tomorrow remembering that even if my kids don’t all learn how to write a paragraph about inferences, they will all know the love I so thoroughly feel for them.

And I pray that one of these days, I will secretly make THEIR day.

 

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