A teacher/writer friend of mine stopped me in the hallway.

“You haven’t been writing she said. Is it because you don’t have time or you don’t know how to say what you want to say?”

“Both.” I replied

She looked at me knowingly.

So I haven’t been writing because I haven’t known how to say what I need to say.

I have some hard kids this year, some kids who don’t seem to care.

It hurts my heart to write that down.

I sit at home and I think about what I can do to get these kids to care. Some nights I resolve to love those hard kids even harder.

Some nights I go home and think that I never want to go back to that classroom again.

I am frustrated, I am impatient and I am tired.

I started today feeling less then 100% and resolved to just baby step it through the day. If I could just stay calm, be present and keep moving forward it would be Ok. About midway through the day I hit a serious slump. As I walked around during writing time I noticed that many of my kids were completely unengaged. I sat down at my work table and tried to regroup. What next? I looked at the kids who were sitting at my work table and noticed almost blank pages. What now?

And one of my little guys asked “Are you sad?” And before I could put on my teacher face I replied “Yes, I am sad.” And then another little guy said “Are you disappointed?” And I replied “Yes, I am disappointed.”

And in that low moment I realized that I was reaching them. They had seen me. They were empathizing. They were connecting. They were seeing value in our work.

So I am holding on to that low moment. Because in that low moment those kids who I thought did not care, they cared. They cared enough to see what I was feeling, to recognize it and to ask. We connected, not in a moment of joy or pride or accomplishment but in a moment of sadness and disappointment. That gives me hope.

8 Comments|Add your own comment below

  1. I was just thinking the other day that it has been way too long “I need a post from My Dandelion!”
    I hoped that all was OK with you!!

    My heart is hurting over the same feelings in my classroom this year – it is a horrifying thing to feel so helpless doing something I am so passionate about. But everything I try with my class this year seems to be a complete failure. After reading your post-I will forge ahead with each new day praying that I am making even the tiniest difference in at least one of my students lives.

    Thank you so much for writing- you are making a difference & connecting with me (& all your readers!!)
    I appreciate your honesty & inspiring words!

    1. rayannepirozzi@hotmail.com · Reply ¬

      Thank you for reading and commenting. We have to reach out to each other in our low moments and in our triumphs. Hopefully you can look with fresh eyes tomorrow and see that you are making a difference for these little people with your passion and caring.

  2. It occurred to me the other day – nice guys don’t finish last, they don’t finish. Being nice or good isn’t rewarding, because people are takers. It’s in our nature. Children most of all, because they have little to give back, except themselves. Find gratitude in being able to see those changes, however slow, that your giving produces.

    But keep being nice. The alternative is to be like everyone else.

    1. rayannepirozzi@hotmail.com · Reply ¬

      The children call for us to be the best humans we can be. There is struggle in that journey and there is joy.

    2. rayannepirozzi@hotmail.com · Reply ¬

      Focusing on gratititude and being kind.

  3. One of my mantras I use when teaching is “never surrender, never giver up”. Some moments that do not feel “teachery” have been when I most connected with my students. Yes, it is hard, yes we get discouraged, but always remember that just by “being present” everyday for your students and sharing your feelings is important work.

  4. Kuddos to you for recognizing whether in the moment or afterwards the gift of that exchange. Even in valleys a bit of light can shine through and provide a respite of hope. Keep on keeping on. You can do hard things.

    1. rayannepirozzi@hotmail.com · Reply ¬

      And it really is a gift to be part of that connecting. It is why I keep going back. Sometimes it is just opening yourself up to the moment. Kids have a way of helping you do that if you let them.

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