I'm Just a Teacher

I'm just a teacher. I don't leap over tall buildings or single handedly save the world. I just reach one child at a time while leaping over student desks and pointing to an objective on the board. That's all. Nothing phenomenal or outstanding. Just your ordinary, run-of-the-mill teacher.

At 3:30 my mind stops. Just stops. I can't think. I can't speak. Not one rational thought enters my head or comes out my mouth. Sometimes I just stare into space.  Total shutdown.

Until my head hits the pillow. Then all of the drama of the day returns to haunt me. I go through my litany of need to-dos and should have-dones and it-better- be-completed-by-tomorrow-or-else list. The faces of each student march across my brain. I wonder about them. What is happening to them tonight? Do they have a safe, warm place to sleep? Did they have supper? Did they understand what I taught today? Or, does it really matter?   I drift into sleep determined to do a better job tomorrow.

The alarm goes off and my feet hit the floor running. Well... not really. My feet don't hit the floor until I've hit the snooze button a few times. Morning is not my favorite time. In fact, I don't think late nights are either. I'm a middle of the day kind of person. I don't even think that extremely early hours should be invented. Or allowed. It isn't human.

Then I remember that I'm going to do better today. I'm determined. I race through my morning routine and arrive just a little early. I'm organized and ready to go. Awww.. those few peaceful moments before chaos breaks out.  I'm more attentive than yesterday. I battle exhaustion successfully after lunch. I see light bulbs flicker across the room. I confidently handled a parent conference. I contributed during the after-school meeting.

Success!  But not the once-in-awhile kind of success, but the kind that gently settles in and hangs on. The kind that takes a lot of effort, but has a huge reward. I smile, pack my bags, and head for the door. As I reach for the light switch, I pause and look around the room. Now, the flicker crosses my face.

I'm just a teacher. Nothing phenomenal or out of the ordinary. Just someone determined each day to do a better job.

                                     Triple Chocolate!

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