Candle gratitude

Teaching is hard.

It’s exhausting, it’s emotional, and more and more curriculum demands keep getting added to our timetables every day.

We’re overwhelmed, we have compassion fatigue, we feel overworked and under supported, and we burn out.

You may crave acknowledgment and yearn for the day when someone shows some appreciation for all that you do.

But, boy what a privilege it is to be an educator!

You get to have a room full of people listen to you all day long.

Your classroom is your kingdom and you are the monarch.

You and your students get to use new technological gadgets like Smartboards, iPads and erasable pens, when our predecessors had to make do with black boards and chalk.

WHAT you teach has been written for you so that you can focus on HOW you will teach it in a way that engages everyone in the class.

Research conducted over centuries has helped to shape your teaching practice so that you don’t waste time on learning episodes that are not effective.

You get to play an important role in shaping the personalities, the identities and the future lives on young humans. To bear witness to the growth of these mini people.

You get daily, minute-by-minute human interaction, so that your sense of connection, of belonging, is solid. You never feel alone.

You get to spread around your joy and passion for learning. Learning about the world and about life.

You get to follow in the footsteps of incredible educators who strive to make learning visible, to teach like their hair is on fire, to create Dead Poet Societies.

You get to be impressed, inspired, and amazed by the things kids say, think, feel and do.

Up to 30 times a year, you get to share cake, ice blocks and other treats with birthday girls and boys in your class.

Being constantly surrounded by humour and play and silliness and fun keeps you young at heart, despite your accelerating age.

You get to help ease the load of parents, because parenting is the toughest gig of them all.

No Easter, birthday or Christmas celebration goes by without cards, handmade gifts and hugs to mark the occasion.

You get to feel like a celebrity when you walk down the supermarket aisle and run into a current or former student or a member of their family.

You are part of a community of colleagues who both adore, and loathe, what they do. In equal measure.

You get to witness that moment when the penny drops, that spark of understanding that lights up a child’s face and they “get it”.

You never stop “chiselling your stone” because there’s no such thing as a perfect teacher.

You’re able to experience the wonder of who your pupils may grow up to be. And sometimes they come back to visit, or drop you an email, and you catch a glimpse of that future.

And, most of all, every now and again, you make a difference. You change someone’s life just by being you and by doing your job.

Perhaps someday, one of your kids (because they become your kids) will look back on their lives and remember you fondly, and know how much you cared.

What an incredible honour.


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  1. […] If this support does not come in the form of a person or people, it may be found in a more surprising location. Perhaps a Facebook group, a congregation, a fur baby or even from just a few moments in solitude listening to music or journaling. Reflecting on the day with a grateful heart. […]


  2. I think that all your students are lucky to have you as a teacher. You treat them the way they deserve to be treated and give them the opportunities they need to grow. I’m sure that you make a difference every day.

    Liked by 1 person

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