As the day progresses, the little patience I have is gone. The child who hasn't done their homework for the last 50 days still doesn't have it. A nasty note in the folder from a parent. One student just won't stop talking. An unannounced observation that does not go well. The small crack that was there earlier has now grown into a huge crevasse that can't be repaired today.
I notice I'm short with my students, with other teachers, and hard on myself because I know better. All I want to do is curl up under a toasty blanket and go back to bed.
It's days like these where I need to keep reminding myself that every child in my class is someone else's baby. A child that could have been waited on for eternity, one that was prayed for, one that was almost lost, one that deserves so much more than what I have given.
I try every day to keep this in mind, but there are days where I slip. I try every day to remember, if I was this child's mother, would I be okay with the words that came out the teacher's mouth, the questions about why homework wasn't completed, about the consequence I just administered, etc.
I don't have children of my own, but I've had about 25 each year that I have considered my own. The days where I genuinely put myself in the shoes of the parent are amazing. The days where I don't, aren't.
I may appear "soft" to some other teachers, not as firm, more lenient. But, I'm okay with that, because at the end of the day, I get hugs from 4th and 5th graders and sweet notes that pull me out of the depths on bad days. I know that these were my kids, I'd want the best for them and a teacher who whispers before yelling, hugs before punishing, and loves before leaving for the day.