Because I'm Not a Teacher
I have never been a teacher, and because I have never been a teacher, I’ve never had to say stuff like,
“my lice repellent shampoo is really drying my scalp out”, or
‘I just spent fifty bucks of my paycheck on googley eyes.”
I remain forever grateful to have never had to ask a child to pull stolen toys out of their underwear, and for the happy fact that I’ve never had to try to calm down a classroom of nearly 30 kindergarteners after a kid got sick and threw up all over the media center (sorry about that Mrs. Wright, I DID think it was a little weird that he didn’t want pancakes that morning!)
Because I’ve never been a teacher, I’ve never stayed up until 2am working on lesson plans and proceeded to wake up at 5am to get ready for the school day. (I have been the wife to said teacher, also a non-enviable position on said day.)
I consider myself lucky to have never endured the heart-wrenching task of letting a mom know her son/daughter is struggling, or behind, or may need to be held back and have to watch as the classmates they’ve been with for the entire year move on without them. I’ve never dressed up like an oversized kid in a pumpkin suit to amuse a few first graders and again, I’ve ever-so-thankfully never had to deal with “Mr. poops-his-pants-every-other-day-but-refuses-to-admit-it.” I’ve never missed my kid’s first day of school or had to send my own children to Kids Club before and after school each day because there happened to be a whole classroom of students counting on me to be there.
Because I’ve never been a teacher, I can’t know exactly how hilarious and heartbreaking and exhausting these experiences really are, but I know for certain that this stuff can’t always be easy. And I know that even if your whole entire heart is poured into teaching, even if it’s your greatest passion, and, yes, the summers off are more than fantastic- it still remains a REALLY hard bleeping job sometimes.
Having not walked a day in their shoes, there’s a lot I can’t really understand, but I DO know what it’s like to have two five year old boys that went into kindergarten knowing how to write their names and maybe a few letters and came out writing sentences and reading books. I know what it’s like to have two kids that went to their first day of school slightly terrified with their hearts beating out of their chests and came out as confident, capable (They get themselves dressed you guys! Miracle or miracles!) almost-first graders. I know two boys who love school SO much that we had to make a “classroom” in our basement so when school is done, we can then proceed to play school for the rest of the evening.
As much as I would love to take credit for all of this, I’m not blind to the fact that for at least eight hours a day, (probably more) five days a week, (again, probably more) there were two women working SO incredibly hard for what I imagine is probably way less money than they deserve to make sure that each of these kindergarteners were prepared to make their journey into first grade.
Thank you Mrs. Wright and Mrs. Stetz (boys' teachers) for laying down these incredible foundations to what I hope will be a lifetime commitment to learning. Thank you "Mrs. Blake (sister) and "Mr. Lamb" (hubs) for inspiring me with the important work that you do. I know there are a million other teachers doing the same thing, day in and day out. I’m forever grateful to all of you out there laminating through the night while I’m surfing Facebook or catching up on my latest subscription to The New Yorker (fine, People magazine, don’t judge.) Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are so appreciated.