It is tough all over. I had no AC my first two weeks of school and had to teach on the stage. Some of you have hunger and poverty and hard situations all over. You teach wounded kids who are eager to wound others because they hurt so much inside. And you're expect to teach them about dangling participles?
All of us have a reason we can't. In a world where truth and justice often don't prevail, it is magnified in schools as these adolescents try to make sense of a world that doesn't.
You're a teacher and your job is hard. Some days it is epic hard.
But that never stops the great ones among you.
You — the great one sitting there reading this post. You can't be contained by hard times. Your love for kids and desire to teach will not be marginalized by a conflict with a coworker or even worse, a misunderstanding with your boss.
Your students deserve your best and you're going to give it whether anyone says thank you or not.
Your principal might think you're suck-y but you're not and you know it. You know you're doggone good and you're going to continue to teach like it.
You're an epic teacher because you're unstoppable. You don't stop for anything except a hurting child. Then the world stops and you are there to help.
You might stay home for rain, snow or sleet but you're there for everything else. Every traumatic, hard, gut wrenching situation – you're there. You're in it. You're part of it. You're the one kids come to to hug. You're the one they confide in when something is hard. Many kids just want to be around you.
You're not perfect, but you're epic anyway. You care. You make a difference. You listen to one kid at a time. You might have an email to return but when a child needs you at break, you sit back and listen and let the email gather dust.
You plan your lessons. You think about them at night. You think about your students — you might even pray for them. You're epic. You're passionate. You never quit.
Let's talk Epic
It is time for a generation of teachers to rise up and be the media that education deserves.
There are many epic teachers among us.
If the mainstream media is going to talk about the latest teacher who slept with a sixth grader – we need to talk about the epic teaching that is happening in many places.
There's more epic teaching than “Desperate Housewives” – it is just that epic doesn't get people talking as much as a tryst with a 10th grader in the boys locker room. Sad — but we can do something about this human desire to gravitate to the sorry & fallen in our profession.
We need to be the media our profession deserves
Let's tweet and share about the great things teachers do.
Let's inspire a heroic generation of teachers to remove the rags which we've worn far too long to show that we don't need to wait on superman – we have supermen and women throughout the world – hiding like Clark Kent in shabby schoolyards eating mystery meat in the lunchroom.
They are here. We are here. It is time to take off the rags and be epic.
- You are epic when you share something that worked in your classroom.
- You are epic when you praise good teaching and show what it looks like.
- You are epic when you use your social media influence to spread the appreciation, love, and best practices of the profession you love.
- You are epic when you reach out to the friends of a child who died far too young.
- You are epic when you stoop down and sit down on the ground to hold a child who is crying because Patty the Cat is being put down at the vet.
- You are epic because you are slammed right into the midst of the tough things of life and you act. You listen. You love. You don't quit. You don't hang up the phone. You are insistent.
We've got epic in teaching right now.
We've just got to do a better job of showing those capes and colors to a world who hungers to have their faith in education restored.
Remember your noble calling teacher. Don't just be noble… be epic.
Tips for minimizing teacher stress
- Discover 10 stress-busting secrets for healthy teachers. What simple routines will help you handle the stress?
- Simple advice for coping with stress at work.
- Learn tips to help you deal with difficult colleagues and students (even those who "hate" you -- yes it is possible!)