Sunday, October 25, 2015

A Hard Job, A Little Patience

Some days it is really hard to be a teacher.

You work as hard as you know how. You fill out paperwork. You collect and record endless amounts of data required by your school, your district, and your state.  You tie shoes, clean up messes, mediate conflicts, search out support for students, reinforce good behavior and correct misbehavior, complete more paperwork, supervise recess and lunch, answer parent emails and, in between, you try to teach.

Because teaching is what you love, what you were born to do.

But it's hard.

Some days it can be overwhelming. The mandates, the paperwork, the behavior concerns. You find your fuse getting shorter. Little things start getting on your nerves more than they used to. You fight back tears, and you keep on teaching.

And some days, you lose it.

You yell.

You cry.

You respond in a snarky, impatient way.

You say words you can't take back.

And you feel absolutely horrible.

Because you know it's not your students' fault.

You know that some of them come from situations that are insecure and even unsafe. They've seen violence and they've known fear. They've known hunger and want. It's not their fault your job is stressful.

Some of them come from secure homes, but are overindulged, spoiled, and entitled. Their parents blame you or other students for infractions or bad reports. It's not their fault that you can't make them take responsibility for their actions. It's not their fault the parent has the principal on speed dial.

Some of them seem unreachable. You try to motivate them, engage them, and help them to progress. Nothing seems to be working. It's not their fault you haven't found the answer yet. Yet.

You need to find patience and hold onto it for all you're worth. You need to try again. And again. And keep coming back, even though it's hard.

Your work matters. Even when progress is slow, you're making a difference.

So you pray for patience. You count to ten. You take deep breaths. You walk away.

Because everything you say matters. Everything you say can be the one thing that gets through. So it needs to be the right thing. The thing that helps. Not the thing that hurts.


A little patience.

Even when it's one of those days, you need to find it.

Especially when it's one of those days, you need to find it and hold onto it for all you're worth.

Even when it's hard.

I wrote this poem for myself. Because some days are just really hard and I need the reminder sometimes. I thought other teachers might like it, too. If you'd like a copy of this poem, please download it for free from my TPT store.

And  because we don't hear it enough...

Thank you for the work you do every day. Thanks for coming back for more even when others don't. Thanks for making a difference in the lives of the children you teach. Even on those days when it seems impossibly hard. Thanks for finding that patience.


  1. I love your poem! The demands these days are weighing on us all! It's ashame that the kids suffer the most. Keep up with the poetry. I enjoy it!