Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Dear Teacher...

Dear Teacher,

I see you. It's still summer time, yet there you are in your classroom, arranging desks and decorating bulletin boards while your kids lounge in the floor and complain about being too hot. The first day of school is just a few days away and you know those desks will be filled with bouncing kids excited about seeing their friends or mopey teenagers too gangly for the desks excited about nothing because they are teenagers.

I see you, handing out pencils that you bought with your own money because some kids don't have them. I see you, checking attendance and taking note of which kids look a little worse for the wear. Not judging, mind you... but storing away information for future reference because those will be your kids... the kids who may not have anyone else.

I see you... sitting in your recliner at home with your lapdesk out and your red pens by your side, marking up papers for future teachers and nurses and lawyers and social workers.

I see you, at your desk during your "planning" period working on lesson plans and entering grades and talking with the student who needs that little bit of extra help.

I see you, shivering in the cold for early morning bus duty.

I see you, scarfing down your food on your fifteen minute lunch break while a group of teenagers holds court in a corner of your classroom because you're welcoming.

I see you, standing on your feet after a ten hour day to take up tickets at that basketball game.

I see you, coaching and encouraging and going the extra mile for peanuts on the hour.

I see you, working on your own homework because a teacher never stops learning.

I see you, in the library at five o'clock for teacher meetings and curriculum meetings and parent meetings.

I see you, biting your tongue as another parent has graced the door of your classroom to complain about the C on a report card, because every kid is perfect even though they haven't turned in one assignment all year and you've been lenient.

I see you, complimenting that girl's dress and that boy's shoes, offering the only smile they may get.

I see you, handing them a dollar or some spare change so they can get something at pop break.

I see you, baking cupcakes in your kitchen late at night so that birthday kids will be recognized the next day.

I see you, tired and weary but still putting one foot in front of the other and still smiling...

Because you're doing the Lord's work, even if you don't think you are. After all, wasn't Jesus the greatest teacher of them all? And didn't He say that if you do it for the least of these.. well, you know the rest.

And you know what, dear teacher?

They see it, too.

Even the ones who backtalk and are mouthy and who hide their faces behind their hair.

They see you, and they know.

They know you don't do it for the paycheck (even though everyone has to make a living).

They know you do it out of pure love.

And because of that love, that belief that they can make something out of life...

They will.

And one of them may be standing in front of that very classroom you're standing in right now.

Thanking you...

And continuing the cycle.

1 comment:

  1. Love this. A few moms got together and got my DD's teacher a plant and lunch today. She came out after school and thanked us and said it was the first time in 10 years parents had done something for her on Teacher Appreciation Day. That made me sad. But, glad we did what we did, however small it is.