Today has been the absolute worst. I was sick all night, felt terrible this morning, ended up going to school anyway. Every piece of information or news I was given (other than a productive and promising PLC in which I got great news for numbers for AP and Holocaust Lit next year!) has been more annoying or negative than the last. I came home and collapsed on the bed with an hour or so to try and feel better (physically and emotionally) before I need to leave for a banquet.
At this banquet, an incredibly wonderful 4.0 student who has selected me as her favorite teacher will honor me with a letter. And I'm wrestling with the same doubts I always feel, that one day this ride I've been on will stop and kids won't connect with me anymore. Nothing ever feels like enough. I had opened my notes in my phone because if I write about things, I feel better. But I couldn't find words to write because I just feel overwhelmed by everything that's to come. I feel ineffective, I feel disconnected, and I feel like the task at hand is bigger than I am in many cases. There isn't time at school or home for what needs to get done by May 16. This has been such a wonderful school year, but it's at the place where you hit a wall and realize that what is required of you for the remainder of the year is more than you have left inside.
And then I got a fb message from a friend, sharing something with me that was so encouraging. No kidding, LITERALLY ten seconds after I collapsed on my bed and realized I had no words to write, God gave me someone else's words instead. What a good, good Father.
So I wanted to say to YOU, other teachers or anyone who is hitting a wall at this point in your year....
You can do it. And the best proof you have of the fact that you CAN do it is that you HAVE done it in the past and you ARE DOING it right now.
You are loved. People may not always tell you and they may not always show you, but there are those who live for your smile.
You are influential. There are so many people whose days are impacted by you and your presence. Keep showing up, keep being you, and keep influencing them for good.
You don't have enough left inside. And that's ok. Believe me, I understand feeling so poured out that nothing is left but that's where grace steps in. If we had all we needed, we would never get to experience that miraculous feeling when the oil should have long since run dry but it just keeps streaming out, grace upon grace.
We can hold each other up when strength fails. I just decided to write a note to another person every day from now until the end of the school year. I want to infuse people with the energy and pep that I just got from that Facebook message I received. Join me?
The doubts aren't going to strangle me out like weeds. The exhaustion isn't going to make me give up. The feeling of isolation isn't going to cause me to withdraw from the very people who need me, and I, them. And the overwhelming tasks at hand aren't going to prevail. I am.