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When Teaching Hurts

Although I have been having the best start in my four years of teaching, I was reminded, today, of one of the hardest aspects of teaching.

I didn’t know, before I worked with children on a daily basis…and really got to know them…how hard some of their lives were.

Although I, myself, had a rather difficult adolescence, some of the pain had blurred over the years.

As I read my students’ writings…as I overhear their conversations with their peers…as they pull me aside to share small details of their lives, my heart begins to hurt.

Sometimes, I walk away from conversations in tears that only another teacher can soothe.

Still, the deep sadness remains at what my students are going through.

Often, they don’t share exactly what it is that they are crying over.

These are the worst times, because I feel like I’m helpless.

I am a mother, and I need to fix things…broken dishes…broken dolls…broken hearts.

But I can’t.

And I find myself not liking this very much.

As my mentor, Cinda, told me today, “God knew exactly what he was doing when He placed you here.”

While my head knows this, sometimes my heart just wants to scream out that it’s too painful to watch my students suffer.

But I have to.

So I do what I can do…wipe tears…offer a hug…write a pass to the bathroom for the student to have some privacy.

And then I pray.

I pray for wisdom.

I pray for the right words to come out of my mouth.

I pray for my students to feel God’s loving arms around them…especially during the times when they don’t have the real, nurturing arms of loved ones to sustain them.

I am not a newbie at this teaching thing, but some lessons stand out more than others.

Teaching is not for the faint of heart.

Teaching is not for the heartless.

Teaching is for the faithful who trust that God is using them to make an impact, however small, in the lives of the children whom they cross paths with.

Please pray for my students.  There are some truly heavy burdens, and I am not one to accept that some of these children will be completely overwhelmed by the loads they carry.

3 Responses

  1. Praying for your students! I am sure that they will come thru these burdens and be stronger.

  2. This post brought back memories of former students and former prayers – prayers that were answered quickly and others that took years, but they were answered.

    Keep listening, loving, and praying. God’s timing is perfect, and your prayers will be answered

  3. I’m always so astounded and heartbroken to hear some of the stories Abby shares with me about kids at her school. The parents of one girl she knows (a junior) are about to divorce. The dad told her that if she decides to live with him, he would give her anything and everything she wants…her mother, on the other hand, just lost her job. Plus, this girl just started dating the leader of a Hispanic gang! She’s so lost and is crying out for help. Breaks my heart to pieces.

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