I don’t think you realize just how thankful I am for you, choosing to give your life for the betterment of the future. Attempting to shape the minds of tweens/teens is not a job for the weak. It means dealing with physical and emotional changes for them.
Remember Your Reasons
I know it’s hard to remember why you became a teacher when middle schoolers have attitudes the size of Texas. It’s understanding they have a hard time expressing their feelings. It’s that feeling of doubt when you go home — like you have accomplished nothing because the class was so rowdy and disruptive you had to change your lesson plan.
It’s the question of: Am I teaching my class everything they need to know to pass that STAAR exam? The worry of a state test that determines if you are a good teacher worth keeping. The fear of not knowing if you are connecting with every student, or whether they feel safe in your care? Am I a person they feel comfortable enough to talk with about life’s tough questions regarding body issues, lifestyle choices, or struggles at home?
These children look up to you and seek guidance. Please don’t brush them off as hormonal teenagers. You may be the person they reach out to when they don’t feel safe in their environments. They look to you as a person who will possibly save their lives if their school environment becomes compromised. You are my child’s advocate.
We as parents look to you as part of our village to raise them. When they feel their parents can’t connect or understand, you are our next line of defense. You are on the forefront of dealing with tweens/teens who lack common manners and respect. For that I apologize; and no one should have to deal with disrespect and lack of morals.
A Changing World for Tween/Teenagers
I know times have changed. Tweens and teenagers are growing up in a world that moves too fast, that feeds them images of how they are supposed to look. A world where the answer is at the click of a mouse or call of “Siri.” They have all the access of the internet — along with inappropriate websites — in front of their eyes within seconds.
Remember when you were a teenager, how hard it was to feel your way through those teen years, the middle school insecurities, and fears of pending adulthood.
I have heard my daughter say that she misses just being a kid, that she wishes her teachers understood that sometimes we don’t know why we cry or why she feels like everything makes her angry. That she wants teachers to realize middle schoolers have bad days too, and that they know how hard life is with their parents’ struggles with bills at home. She just wants teachers to know that they aren’t alone when nothing seems to work out right at school; it happens to kids too.
Thank You, Middle School Teachers
Hearing this from my daughter made me realize that you as a middle school teacher see so much more than I see. You spend almost eight hours a day with my daughter and her fellow classmates. I don’t think I could ever thank you for being there when you see someone’s first heartbreak, or for keeping the whispered secrets or passed notes for your students.
Middle school teachers are often overlooked, due to middle schoolers thinking they are old enough to make their own choices and leave their parents out of the equation. So many parents do not know what is happening at school when we receive answers in grunts and eye rolls. As a parent, I am confiding in you — asking you to be there to help my child with her choices at school, to empower, encourage and support, to help in her future.
I wish I could give you a week’s vacation just to show you how much I appreciate all you have done, but unfortunately I can’t. I CAN leave you with a few kind words. I commend you for choosing a profession that gives you the ability to help future generations. Thank you for going to bed at midnight or later just to make sure all those papers are graded, or for giving up your weekends to complete lesson plans. Thank you for everything you do, even if it goes unnoticed. Know that you are an inspiration for future educators.