Thursday, November 13, 2008
Note on the Fridge to Nearly Every Teacher I've Ever Had
Esteemed women and men, I do not envy your position as the end of the semester looms near like a shadow in the night. I once underestimated your ability to do everything--EVERYTHING--perfectly as our time together drew to a close. "It shouldn't take him that long to grade our papers," I thought. "She should have been more prepared for that class."
And you should have been. All of you. But how could you with all you had on your plates? Papers to grade, lessons to plan, dinners to cook, families to love, mental health to maintain. When I look at the sinkful of dirty dishes, the stacks of overdue library books and ungraded essays that have taken over my living space I can do more than imagine what your homes looks like every November. I'm living your lives now, dear teachers.
Late nights and early mornings, slacks worn for the fourth time without washing, unkempt hair, pots and pots of coffee, little more to eat than meat-and-bread sandwiches and bags of M & Ms. This is our life come end of the semester. This is what teaching entails. We embody it.
Thank you, teachers, for all the work you did for me and all the work you continue to do. You don't hear those words much, usually you only hear complaints from grade grubbers, but I hope you'll hear it from me, a once-and-future grade grubbing student, a currently overwhelmed teacher.
You are all amazing.
Timothy J. Sisk