I think that I speak for every educator when I say that we did not become teachers for money or prestige. Many teachers serve their 30 years and never receive a single award. Sometimes it leaves you to question whether or not you are doing enough.
Don’t get me wrong. I love teaching. I spend hours coming up with well thought out lesson plans. I do all my duties as required and I try to collaborate with teachers. I know that I am doing enough this way.
I also know that the students are learning in my class because I check to make sure. I make sure they understand the directions. I make sure that they can do the activities that are required. I also make sure that they actually complete tasks correctly.
My teaching is not what I question. It is my impact. Am I really helping these kids? Do they see me as an adult who cares about them? After all, this is why I entered the teaching profession. I wanted to become a teacher to change lives. So I ask myself those two questions everyday.
Then I remember. I remember all the hugs I get everyday. I remember how I was able to redirect a student who was having a bad day. I remember how students seek me out just to say hello or just to chat. I remember when teachers tell me that “my students love Mrs. Ralph.”
So if you love your students and you actually build a relationship with them. Then your reward is the impact you make on each student. Even if you are not teacher of the year or your principals favorite person the students will remember. They will remember you as the teacher who believed in them and loved them.
So on those days when you feel beat down or disrespected. Days where you feel over looked and mistreated. Remember that you are great and you make an impact everyday on your students.