And then, in the midst of dystopia, my Principal texts me this: pic.twitter.com/n4fNVGt3Nu— Sarah Windisch (@slwindisch) January 26, 2017
Moments after I posted that picture, I got another text from my principal. It said, "You do make a difference ::winky-kissy emoji::"
I know what she meant. I do. I know it's a kindness when it's very apparent that I'm unhappy and feel unappreciated. But here's the thing: not once in my career have I ever doubted that I make a difference in the lives of my students. In fact, I probably have an over-inflated sense of my importance to my students. I know I make a difference. I know they adore me. I know they look forward to seeing me for a myriad of reasons - few of them musical.
And I know that if I felt my
The place I'm at in my career has nothing to do with students in any way. I've said it before: I need to teach like I need air. I'm a great teacher too. (Otherwise, would I have the same type of impact on students?) I've never been recognized by my peers as such, in a way large or small. I realize how that sounds - like I have tiny hands - but recognition is important. Everyone wants to be seen in some way.
I don't need to be teacher of the year/month/week, I just want someone who has seen me at my work to acknowledge what I do.
I don't need the word "babysitter" thrown back in my face when I use it to describe how I've been treated, I just want a colleague to mention the lesson that we are doing in my classroom.
I don't need to be the technology expert in the room, I just want people to remember that I have different skills that might be of use to them.
I guess that text underlines the whole thing: people misunderstand what I do and the fervor I have for doing it well. The picture made me so happy. The addition of the words was a sour reminder that I feel taken for granted by adults, that I feel like I fill a function, not provide a essential part of a student's education.
The kids know better. They see. They feel it.
That should be enough.