As the school year approaches, the usual preparations begin taking place in our house. Supplies are inventoried. New clothes and shoes are gathered. Lunches are planned. But I’m not sending off a student…
I’m sending off the teacher.
Yes, it’s me, the wife of a teacher. I get to see this beautiful profession from a side that most people don’t.
I see the passion.
Let’s be honest, teachers don’t go into the job for the dozens and dozens of dollars they make each year. They teach because they love their jobs. They love pouring into their students.
My husband, a physical science and chemistry teacher, gets genuinely excited about nerdy science facts. He loves to see kids start to “get it” and will come home to tell me about how proud he is of his students.
I see the exhaustion.
Yes, it is known that teachers do get their weekends and summers off. But their workday extends beyond the school day. It is early morning IEP meetings. It is cafeteria lunch duty. It is after-school tutoring. It is late nights of grading papers.
There are phone calls, emails, parent-teacher conferences, and school meetings. I see the exhaustion in his eyes, but, when he is in the classroom, he is 100% engaged with the students. They don’t see the tiredness. They see the teacher that is there for them each and every day.
I see the hard work.
Teaching at any level is not easy. Elementary is basically herding cats. Middle school is a hormone-muddled mess. And high school is full of wannabe adults that are just ready to be finished. But the teachers put in the work to get our children through each confusing stage.
They do not just teach the subjects assigned to them, but they are also working to mold their students into good humans.
I see that is it worth it.
Do I wish that my husband made more money? Sure. I think every teacher deserves a kajillion-dollar raise.
But it’s not about that.
When I see old students come back and hug my husband, that makes it worth it. When I see them tell him that he got them through their college chemistry class, that makes it worth it. When I see the absolute joy and pride he has for his job, that makes it worth it.