In honor of your hard work teacher moms, I salute you. There is no greater love than that of a teacher– except that of a mom. So if you are doing both, God bless you.
My first year teaching was rough, and any honest teacher will tell you that’s how the story goes. Doe-eyed hopes of being the Mary Poppins/Claire Huxtable teacher who brings the cupcakes on every kid’s birthday, but still has the firmness to have the students respect you on a field trip to the zoo– yeah that didn’t happen. I cried a lot, slept a little, and worked my butt off.
I thought that was the worst of it, until I had my son. I was out a lot for doctors visits, and when I wasn’t lesson planning, I was worrying about my growing child and what would happen if I missed one horse pill prenatal vitamin.
My students were so protective of me– all of them. I couldn’t hold my own bags or walk down the stairs without 3 kids running to me to ask for help. And when he was born, I was so grateful that he was born in the summer–because maternity leave is not real! I remember wondering who was reading to my students at night as I read to my own son. I remember crying at my school’s first grade production–even though I hadn’t taught any of the kids. All I could think of was one day my son would be on the stage singing off key and dressed like a tree– and that sent the waterworks. I would wake up at 4:30 am so I could get on the train to take my son to daycare and then get on another train to make it to my school in time to greet the students.
But I loved it! So much that I have been in the game for almost 15 years and can’t see myself anywhere else. So today I salute all teachers who linger over TEKS and TPT and then plan your child’s first sleepover party. For all the nights you stayed up worrying about that child that wasn’t yours and woke up with enough energy to make breakfast for your own. For the nights you didn’t make a performance because you were putting on one for your students, or the parent conference that was rescheduled several times because your kid caught the flu.
You are truly magic, for waving your wand to make manipulatives and centers that make any kid swoon, and still making it to your son’s first game that same afternoon. For pumping up your high school kids for the SAT and then pumping for your little one. For knowing that although it’s Friday you aren’t going to happy hour because you have many kids that you have to make happy at home– for more than an hour.
I know you did it so you could be on your kids schedule, and have the summers off and obviously for the pay. So please know from the bottom of my heart you are appreciated. I see your struggle and I know it’s real. I see the box of letters from your old students, next to the box of baby photos of your graduating senior. I hear your prayers for a smooth first day for the kids in your class and your own children in the class down the hall. I know that sometimes you just want a break because when the bell rings the day isn’t over for you. I know that there is glitter and flair pens in your purse next to the wipes and the extra diaper.
Know that your impression will last forever not just in your name and in your home. But in the homes and hearts of the kid that you showed up for. The ones you taught how to read and identify the parts of a plant. The one 7th grader who you love, but annoys you just like your first grader at home.
You are a leader. You are a lover. You are a mother. You are a force to be reckoned with.
Happy Mother’s Day, teacher. Summer is almost here!