Why are teachers so hard on themselves?
From talking to and observing many of my fellow teacher friends, I have noticed how critical we are of how we are teaching and how are students are learning. I especially noticed this in myself as a first year teacher. I worried all the time about if they were learning and if I was failing as a teacher. I even thought I had chosen the wrong profession. I had a rough class behavior wise, but almost half of them were quite low also. I felt like I was not reaching them. I was crying almost every day and feeling just...miserable. Looking back now I am glad I had a rough first year. It has really put everything in perspective. I was able to make it through the year AND even though at the time I thought I was talking to the wall...they learned. They grew. I grew.
I have grown a lot these past 2 years and I have felt a huge change in my view of myself as a teacher. I still feel inadequate at times, but I also know that I am doing the best I can and that each day I am becoming a better teacher. I still sometimes feel if my class has a bad day or if they aren't learning something as fast as other classes that it is all my fault. However I am slowly realizing that I am only human. I can't make my students do anything...I can only show them the way. I feel like I'm learning to do this better each day. I also feel myself growing as a leader in my school community. It's a good feeling to serve your school and your class.
I just wanted to say a word of encouragement to all you first year teachers (and veteran teachers). You are awesome. You are doing one of the hardest jobs out there. Thank you for all you do....keep trying. And if you need to cry, cry. :) This will pass. Your kids are learning...and so are you.
If you aren't a teacher, and you know one...give them a hug and say THANK YOU! Trust me, they deserve it. :)