You're tired. I know you are.
I'm a principal, and it's easy for me to say, "Hang in there -- thanks for all you do!" But I want you to know exactly what it is that I'm thankful for.
You take time to prepare meaningful lessons... even when you feel yourself dragging.
You provide encouragement and support to your colleagues when they're down.
You are kind to students when you see them... because you realize that may be the only kindness they experience all day.
You strive to motivate apathetic students. Sometimes your efforts don't seem to make a difference. But you keep trying... because that's what teachers do.
You supervise students at your duty and in the hallway in between classes. Your presence helps to deter mischief and ensures a more safe and orderly environment for our kids.
You spend countless hours grading papers... because you know that your feedback will help students grow.
You teach... and then you reteach... and sometimes tutor individually... because you realize not everyone gets it the first time (or even the second time).
You learn new ideas from your colleagues... and sometimes from the internet... because you are committed to being a better teacher tomorrow than you were today.
You work to create a positive classroom environment... because you know that is the best kind of environment in which to learn.
You try to connect with students who don't seem reachable... because you realize you may be their only lifeline.
You have patience with the students who may be disruptive and annoying... because you know that those students still need you.
You provide structure and organization in your classroom... because you know you may have students who don't have any at home.
You teach your kids the skills that will ensure they have a brighter future.
You strive to be the kind of teacher that you would want your own kids to have.
You have that student in 3rd period that drives you crazy (because he acts like a knucklehead on a daily basis). There's a very good chance that his mom knows he can be challenging, because she deals with him at home. She was nervous before the school year started. Last year was rough for their family. Mom was just hoping that this year her son would get lucky. Maybe he would get a teacher who was able to look past the immaturity and the foolish behavior. Maybe he would get a teacher who saw in him the same potential that she saw.
You are that teacher who is the answer to a mother's prayer.
I know you're tired, and you have a right to be. I'm sorry that we just put three more kids in your class and asked you to fill out another form. In spite of the challenges, you maintain your passion for kids; you hold on to your commitment to making a difference. I never take that for granted.
You're tired ... but you push on.
And that makes you heroic.