I wonder if anyone else would’ve found it ironic. Really, for the email to come, that week, that day, with that title... “Become a Model Educator This Year.”
Of course, the human heart always dreams of being the best. I CAN educate all of my students to the level of proficiency required by the state - in my dreams. I CAN finish the paperwork to become a lead teacher or get a master’s - in the visions in my head. I CAN make a difference - so I believed.
And then there’s reality. .. There’s the week of testing, when only 45% of the kids rise to the bar and the others: two skip the last third of the test, one nearly passes out, and three just don’t perform. They’re the ones who are SUPPOSED to perform, though. This is messing up my dreams.
Everyone is tired. My patience is low (which means my tolerance rises because I can’t draw rational lines). The kids’ levels of self-control are low. We’re all sleepy and we combat it with activity and attitude. The volume in the room rises.
I decide we all need a break and we head outside. Walking down the hall I encounter the librarian and the school’s tech assistant. I greet them, “Long time, no see.” (I’ve been fixing my own tech problems.) One laughs and responds, “Do you know I can hear you every day, all the way at the end of the hall?”
I am sure I nearly cry. Any other day it might be a joke, as it was intended. Today, this day, it is beyond what I can handle. Here, too, the dreams of a quiet, orderly class are crushed. There’ll be no model class for this teacher.
And so I come home. I check my email. Become a model educator. Not today. Not this week. Not this year.
I read somewhere that Jesus, my Jesus, came to bind up the broken-hearted (well, I read that part in the Bible), and my brokenness might not be the popular sort. My brokenness, then, is this: my imperfections, my failed ambitions, my unrealistic dreams.
I’m glad Jesus loves me anyway. Even if I’m not a model educator. This year or any year.