It’s such an interesting time of year, isn’t it? I used to think it was just teachers who were crawling to the finish line in June, ready to throw marking into the air willy-nilly style (what would that look like, I wonder…?)
But now I realise that my students are doing the same thing.
My eyes search my classroom, looking for that one face that is still fresh, still eager, still wanting more.
None. Nada. Nothing. Only vacant eyes stare back at me.
Geeeeez. I’m glad we’re all in the same boat, but now I’m afraid it might sink faster.
Back in May (so like, last month), Seth Godin wrote a post about emotional labour. The things we do because we are professionals. The things we may not like to do, but we do.
The things we smile about when we really feel like crying. I believe it’s our responsibility to ensure that we check ourselves before we wreck ourselves (thank you, Ice Cube!)
Whatever we say or do — especially at this time of year — can have a huge impact on the way our students respond. As the teacher, as the adult, as the professional, we must ensure that each of our actions, our words, our emotions create value in the classroom. Sure, it’s easier said than done, but it’s one of those things that are non-negotiable. Our actions and reactions help to shape how our students act and react to a variety of situations. Keep things as “real” as possible, then feel free to vent to your BFF, your SO, or your VIP (sorry, I needed another acronym), but ensure that you present the most positive, the most committed, the most engaged version of yourself to your students.
In years to come, they will remember you as the person with the best of dispositions, the one who encouraged, supported, and loved them right up until the very end of the school year.
And that, my friends, is worth the emotional labour.
(feature image courtesy of eltpics, flickr)