I don't often write about emotional things on my blog, but today I'm feeling emotional. Often, John Spencer's posts remind me of how I feel. Teaching is personal. One he posted today reminded me of that yet again.
I've cried two times within the past 24 hours in my classroom. One experience involved parents and another students. I was talking to Russ (the best husband in the world) about this last night, and he made a good analogy. Sometimes we as teachers are treated like customer service representatives (ya know, the people you call on the phone when your internet is down...we all love them so much...*sarcasm*). We hear snippets from parents and kids. We hear the negatives, often in quick spouts of anger or complaining.
Many parents and most students don't truly understand the passion, effort, and care we put into our craft. They cut us down because we made an error; they comment about how boring things are; they comment negatively on how or what we teach. It's rare that we hear how great we're doing. It's rare to hear appreciation for the passion, effort, and care we put into planning and facilitating the learning in our spaces. Just like customer service reps rarely hear that a product is awesome and meets or exceeds expectations.
Teaching is personal. We are blessed with the few outside our profession that notice this. I had an brushing with one of those today.
"Hey, Mrs. Goerend, I saw you crying in the principal's office yesterday. Are you ok?" - student
"I am. Thanks for asking." - me
It was a simple exchange but meant more than this student could know.
So I have a request for you. If you are a parent to a school-aged child, contact your child's teacher(s) to share your positive "customer service experiences." Teaching is personal to them, too, and I know they will appreciate you noticing.