George Lucas Educational Foundation
Teacher Wellness

The Lengths Teachers Will Go

July 31, 2015

Ah, the first day of school. Well, the first day for students at least. Teachers had their first day weeks ago, when they entered their classrooms with 18 Target bags filled with everything from contact paper to air fresheners to dry erase markers strapped to their arms.

Yes, teachers have been back for a while. Those bulletin boards didn't put themselves up nor did the name tags come with the desks. That cute file cabinet isn't new. Nope, it's actually from 1964, and the teacher talked her neighbor into hauling it home so she could spray paint it over the summer. She wants her classroom to look inviting and warm.

Another teacher spent two hours last night going over the district bus list, finding the information for each student so that he knows which bus they ride after school. If needed, he will personally escort every child to the bus at the end of the day.

To what other lengths will teachers go to this year?

  • She will catch a student's throw-up in the trash can. Most of it anyways. Some will splash onto her Payless shoes.
  • He will buy snacks for the children who forget to bring them, so that they won't be hungry.
  • She will watch a student write his name and correct him 145 times until he stops confusing the d with a b. She knows his name is Todd, not Tobb.
  • He will rethink his math lesson six times during morning coffee.
  • She will return a parent call during her short lunch period because she knows they're worried about their child. 
  • He will make sure the shy girl makes a friend.
  • She will grab four extra pairs of mittens from Walmart, so that no one will have cold hands at recess.
  • He will painstakingly listen to a first grader struggle through a book every day and get choked up two months later when she finally begins to read fluently.
  • She will need to use the bathroom at 9:15, but won't actually get to go until 11:45.
  • He will send a student to the office with a note telling the principal how well she did that day because he knows she needs a boost.
  • She will come to school sick because it's Friday and the spelling test is going to be really hard this week.
  • He will make a child laugh.
  • She will wipe a child's tears, then cry some of her own on the way home.

Let another year begin. Here's to all the teachers who do what can never be measured by a test.

This piece was originally submitted to our community forums by a reader. Due to audience interest, we’ve preserved it. The opinions expressed here are the writer’s own.

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