I have some third grade students that I was working with this year, and we were reading a story about making hot chocolate. And at the end of the week, I brought in hot chocolate for them.
They were just amazed.
You would’ve thought I had just handed each of them a $100 bill.
(And I had marshmallows too, so that was a big deal.)
In that moment, just sitting there enjoying that with them, I noticed that I was not doing those things as much in my last couple years of teaching. Because I was so exhausted. And those special moments that made me have this great connection with my students, those special moments that made me love my job, were not as frequent.
In my previous district, we had several teachers who quit in the middle of the year because the stress was so high.
And I think if districts do not, or school boards do not, want to listen to the teachers themselves, then it’s going to need to come from parents. It’s parents saying, “This is something that’s important to us. We want our children’s teachers to be respected and to be taken care of, and to feel like they’re wanted so that they stay here.”
When we lose these teachers, we lose an opportunity to support these students, to build them up, to make them who they’re going to be.
It’s hard to make those connections when you have nothing left.
English Language Arts & Math Response to Intervention, Belleville School District 118
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