A Month of Reflection: Day 20 – Judge

“I just feel like I’m doing it all wrong.”

I heard people saying this more than once today. Too many times, for my taste. Once, really, is too many.

I wanted to tell everyone they had nothing to worry about, and that their fears were completely unfounded.

I couldn’t.

Because I understand.

We’re teachers.

No matter how many years we’ve been teaching,
No matter how many students return to thank us,
No matter how many parents write us glowing notes,
No matter what our standardized test scores tell us,
No matter what our colleagues tell us,
No matter what our administrators tell us,

We can’t escape the feeling that it’s all smoke and mirrors.

If only they knew how disorganized my desk was.
If only they knew how behind I am on grading.
If only they knew how much better I could plan.
If only they knew.

And in our district, we’re taking on exciting changes in our language arts curriculum and instruction. It’s not often that we teachers get to learn an approach of teaching that truly allows us to do what is best for students.

What could be bad about that?

Of course it’s more work.
Of course it’s more planning.
People will tell you that’s the gripe.

It’s not.

Taking on a new teaching approach forces us to sit eye-to-eye with our ideal selves.
Forces us to see where we are.
Forces us to see what we aren’t.

Our administrators aren’t there to judge us.
Our colleagues aren’t there to judge us.
We don’t need them to.

We’ll do just fine.

If only we could withhold judgement from ourselves.
If only we could believe what others see in us.
If only we could open the doors
And remember that we are all
Sharing the same lonely journey.

We’ll do just fine.

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