As strange as it may seem….as a teacher I am often envious of tilers, painters and especially carpet layers! At the end of their day they can look back and clearly see what they have achieved THAT day. Whilst they often start early in the day (like staff in schools), by the end of their day they can see the immediate impact of their work (unlike staff in schools on many days). The bathroom is newly tiled, walls painted and bedrooms carpeted. All to the delight of their client!
Whilst we have taught lessons, marked student work, assisted students, managed behaviour, applied consequences, bandaged scrapes, put ice on bruises and handled queries from parents, much of our work is not VISIBLE for years to come.
Work in schools can at times be a thankless task. Often our work is not appreciated until months or even many years later. At the end of the school year we often receive a small gift, a note or a card from a parent who has appreciated our hard work and dedication.
True appreciation that we made a difference often does not occur until a number of years later. It feels great to be acknowledged in the local supermarket by a former student or parent who says a few kind words about how you helped them and made a difference to their lives.
At times this need to feel appreciated and the acknowledgement that our work makes a difference can lead to us “sweating the small stuff”. At the end of the term and particularly at the end of the school year we tend to be less patient. Small things that wouldn’t normally be an issue, can suddenly frustrate us and draw more attention than is needed.
At times we can overreact and blow things out of proportion. A useful question to ask ourselves can be, “Will this matter a year from now?”