March is gone. That leaves two more months to wrap up another year of school. This is where a thoroughbred really invests his or her energy reserves in hopes of winning the race. At this point teachers are just hoping to make it through the school year with their sanity intact. They hope with this final push to get their students ready for their final exams and to send them on to their next grade level.
Others may not, but we know that teaching is hard work. It demands both physical and mental energy. It is time-consuming. Kids wear on your nerves. It is sometimes disappointing. But if one can hold it all together and succeed with a reasonable number of his or her students, the reward of seeing their progress is worth the effort.
Politicians, bureaucrats, and “education specialists” are not always helpful to teachers. They can think of a hundred things for you to do. Not all of those things are needed or beneficial. Some are burdensome and time-consuming. Some actually rob students of your time, which must be spent on reports and paperwork. It would be good if there was a rule that said no one can make laws about teaching children unless they have had experience in the classroom.
There seems to be no end to those university professors and government bureaucrats who are trying to invent a new and better way of teaching. By the time a teacher has figured out the complexities of the new approach, a new and supposedly better one is on the horizon. New is not always better!
A recurring problem that seems to strike many teachers in springtime is the thought, “I don’t think I want to continue this battle.” You are tried, your mind is frazzled, your nerves are worn. But don’t succumb to the dark thought that says, “Why don’t you quit and try something else?” The year is almost over. This class will soon be on its way. Summer will provide you a change of environment, a change of pace, more rest and relaxation. Who knows, next year’s kids may be the darlings you have always dreamed of.
Teachers are a vital part of our nation. With good teachers the future will be bright. Without them we could raise a generation of illiterate barbarians. Take pride in your vocation. Know that you are making a vital contribution, even if some folks do not appreciate it. Orphan Annie sang about Tomorrow. It is the hope and expectation of a sunny tomorrow that keeps us going.
John Waddey is a public speaker. He is an editor and the author of 50 books. He has traveled and spoken in 23 foreign nations. He is the father of four children.