The original opening for this blog post shared a real life scenario highlighting how hard educators’ jobs are.
The scenario happened just last week to a school counselor I know. Before posting it I shared it with a few
folks to see if the post might be too dark — they said it was. Hmmm. “Just another day at work” for a
school counselor in high school is too dark for popular consumption.
The work we ask our school leaders, teachers, counselors, bus drivers to do is wonderful – and it is hard with some ugly truths. Bright-eyed kids, light bulbs in brains switching on, new friends, recess, turnaround stories. Yes! Sad students, air conditioning going out in 90 degrees, unsuccessful lessons. No thank you.
Here’s the truth. We know that teaching is incredible and full of joy. The other reality is there are parts of being an educator that are haunting. Reflecting on my years teaching middle school, I think of the 150+ middle school students in and out of my classroom over a 50 minute period every day. You see their promise, potential, light, and laughter. You also sense their struggles, their pains, their doubts. I had a total of 300 minutes a day – 2 minutes per student – and teaching Math was my primary purpose. There was so much I sensed going on for my students that I didn’t have time to lean into. Like many educators, conversations not had and opportunities missed with students are haunting.
I wish I could say there were other people in my school building who had it easier – that just isn’t true. Schools are problem rich environments. Buses are late. Teachers get sick and have to call in a substitute. Copiers shut down. Lice breaks out. A car accident happens in front of the school slowing down car line. A parent or student is having a rough day.
The wi-fi in the building goes out. And this is just before 8:30 am!
The narrative is often about how we don’t have enough good school leaders, teachers, etc. I marvel that we have so many!
And through Possip we get to see the best of educators. It is a joy to see all the praise that schools, teachers, their leaders and staff get. Maybe more impressive is to see what they do with the feedback they get. They empathize with the parent and student, they solve problems, they work to get better.
The other joy we see with Possip is though the school day moves fast, parents use Possip to slow it down
and share when they need to. Parents have used Possip to share financial challenges and needs, academic
challenges and needs, social challenges and needs.
As a teacher I would have loved having the additional set of eyes that parents can provide.
Parents have used Possip to share ideas, to offer to help, to try to ease the load of the school.
Possip has this radical notion that every school should have a system for getting weekly feedback, praise, needs, and questions from parents. So whether your school uses Possip or not, make sure there is a system.
Because the work is hard enough for our educators and schools – let’s not leave them to do it alone.
If you want to help your school – whether a parent or educator – reach out to us! firstname.lastname@example.org