I work with amazing teachers. Teachers that care for their students. Teachers that put in more than the average hours, plus some. Teachers that pour over their standards and hone their craft. Teachers that build safe havens for the students that walk through their doors each morning. Teachers that open those same doors and let me in. This is how I know these things.
Leaving the classroom was a hard decision. I spent 13 years striving to do all the above things. I had those hard-core teaching buds (you know what I’m talking about) And I opened my door too, so I know firsthand how hard that can be. How you look around and analyze every last detail, trying to see it through someone else’s eyes.
For the last three years I have grown close to the teachers I work with. It’s a different kind of close. It’s not the we are in this together, but you have your room and I have my room kind of closeness like it was with those hard-core teaching buds.
A classroom is a community and it’s sometimes hard to have someone outside that community come on in. It takes time and trust to get that new kid feeling to wear off. But wear off it did. There are a lot of rooms that are easy like Sunday morning to work in. Easy in that the ideas flow and goals are set and worked toward. Together. We are in the same boat
I’ve got my teachers’ backs. I know why they make the choices they make and I’ve learned so much from all of them. I’ve been in their shoes. I’m in their corner.
So this leave has been extraordinarily difficult for me. Don’t get me wrong, I could teach doctorate level courses on being a homebody. And I know I need to heal and hobbling around risking the surgery results would be a mistake. I also have no Napoleon complex. I know the world of learning does not stop because one person is out. I get that.
But there are some teachers opening their doors these next few days to more than your average number of observers. Their communities will be the topic of conversations. They’ll be explaining their thinking and there will be collective reflection and next steps thought about.
It’s daunting and after days like these teachers will have, you feel exhilarated and renewed, this is true. But man. Having 20+ people checking you out is intimidating and wouldn’t it be nice to have someone in your corner that understands that?
So a part of me is jealous that I am missing out. This gal loves her some of those conversations that will be had and who doesn’t love to watch little kiddos do their thing? I know that these teachers will be amazing and I know these particular kiddos will rise to the occasion. I’ve sent good thoughts, checked in, and talked through some things.
But having someone’s back from behind a keypad and over the lines is just not the same.