I got nothin.’ It’s three days until our students take the third grade STAAR tests and three weeks until the last day of school. Spring fever is running rampant and it’s not always pretty. Kids are tired and edgy. Teachers are tired and edgy. For all my talk in the classroom about our best being good enough, in quiet moments I sometimes fall prey to doubts and second guessing. Have we done enough? Or maybe we reviewed too much and peaked early? Ugh. The to-do list for these next weeks is insane. Every morning this week I climbed out of bed feeling more and more like a wet noodle. Wrung out. Got nothin.’
Well, okay…. nothing much.
But it has been Teacher Appreciation Week. My desk is littered with heartfelt, handwritten notes (in wobbly new cursive or pretty darn good script) recalling funny memories or reassuring me with kind words that what I do matters, that this exchange of ideas and sharing of space has meant something to the little people entrusted to me by their parents, our school and the state of Texas. Not to mention the gifts: a flowering plant and a helium balloon, body scrub and tea leaves, chocolate bars and school supplies, my favorite felt tip pens and a beautiful charm bracelet from a family I’ve been sharing this journey with for four years. A sweet toy from home, now labeled carefully in ballpoint pen with my name.
Then there is the oasis called The Teacher’s Lounge. Oh my. #dietstartsnextweek It started with a beautiful breakfast spread on Monday: bagels and cream cheese, fruit and yogurt, kolaches and coffee. It continued with Baked Goods Day today: cupcakes and cookies, brownies and muffins, cinnamon rolls and saltwater taffy. Tomorrow it’s a full BBQ lunch. All of it lovingly prepared or kindly purchased by busy parents who have their own jobs and their own to-do lists, but who made the time anyway to express their thanks and spoil us rotten.
Also, what about my colleagues? A dedicated, thoughtful group of people who help make the tough days better and the good days fantastic. I’m thankful for being in it together: planning, laughing, problem-solving, laughing, worrying, laughing, venting and sometimes crying. Then there’s the laughing. Moreover, we are blessed with administrators who do their best to support us, who encourage us not to stay too late or work too long, who give us freedom to innovate and design our own curriculum, who write encouraging notes and cook delicious food for our PD meetings, who take the time to celebrate the work we do with punny gifts and certificates of achievement affirming the hard work we’ve done to grow as teachers.
This. And so much more than I can count or comprehend tonight, at the end of a long day that was, in truth, filled to overflowing with ever so many good things.