The time of the year when the bloom is off the new school year rose. Lovely summer tans begin to fade. New shoes get scuffed. Spiffy school clothes lose their sizing in the wash. Haircuts go scruffy. The first wave of viruses rips through the classroom. Kids, who have been on their best behavior for days and weeks, begin to crack under the strain, and their true personalities begin to show.
The time of year when every devoted teacher’s heart is increasingly tied up in knots. Because teachers begin to glimpse who their students are. They formulate an idea of what their students need. And the teachers who care–the ones who pour every ounce of their talents and skill and experience and training into their children–know that they can’t give their students everything they need and deserve. They know that despite their best efforts, they will fall far short.
That’s what mid-September is for teachers.
I know because I was a public school teacher for 25 years. Every year, in mid-September, I hit the wall. Every year, I thought the wall would be impenetrable. It never was, though some years getting through the wall was harder than others. Every year, I was convinced I would utterly fail the students God had entrusted to my care. That never happened, though some years my partnership with students was more effective than others. And every year, shortly after mid-September, I began to understand why penetrating the wall and forming a successful partnership with students was easier or harder.
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