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Rubber, Meet Road: Sustaining Our Students – And Ourselves

Rubber, Meet Road: Sustaining Our Students – And Ourselves

Every person who has taught, whether for one year or for thirty years, can agree on one thing: Teaching is hard. Our feet hit the floor before the sun is up, and for many of us, the work continues until sundown or later. We spend hours, days, weeks, and months pouring ourselves into our students because their education depends on how we show up. Whether they master the material or not hinges on our abilities as educators. For some, this burden is too much. Teachers leave the field because the trenches have become “too much work” for “not enough money.” One of the first things people might say when they learn you’re a teacher is, “Bless you. Teachers are special people.” The short answer is yes, it is tough. Some days can break your heart if you let the hardships wear you down. There is a “but…” we all know about. And what comes after that word is more than likely your “Why”–Our kids.

This summer while attending a Holdsworth Session with representatives from districts across the state, I had an opportunity to engage with like-minded Administrators, Teachers, Instructional Specialists, and Campus Champions. There was an obvious commonality: A palpable and sincere drive to help each and every one of our students succeed. It was inspiring and motivating to watch hundreds of education professionals brainstorming, struggling, wracking their brains, searching for solutions to problems faced at each campus for the betterment of their students. I tucked this image away for a rainy day, and I would encourage anyone reading to do the same–Seek out the most student-centered staff members at your school and really study how they are driven. Odds are they are the happiest people on your campus because their “why” remains clear, especially on the tough days.

As we approach a stretch of the school year when the newness has worn off and motivation may run on “E,” look around. Make eye contact with your teammates and students–and engage. Brainstorm, share challenges, brag on a student. When we’re reminded that we are all in this together, refresh our collective “why,” and relate to one another–we have an opportunity to minimize our failures and magnify our successes. Rain or shine, good or bad, we show up better when we show up together.

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Klein ISD is a school district in Klein, Texas located in northwestern Harris County. The district spans approximately 87.5 square miles and serves more than 54,000 students in 33 elementary schools, 10 intermediate campuses, one high school program of choice, and 5 high schools.

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Rubber, Meet Road: Sustaining Our Students - And Ourselves

by Austin Dean
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