Around two years ago I
Once confident and whole
A shattered reflection was all I saw
You are great but
You are impressive but
Your are so valued but
The compliments come but
I don't hear them
I don't feel them
I spent this year gluing things back together
Distractions from my doubt
We glued the mirror back together
They showed me maybe
I took a risk
This time I didn't break
Cracks are there
But this time I see the way out
The vase can only fall so many times from the shaky shelf before
The last few years have been really hard. I love my work and what I do but that little nagging voice, you are not enough, is always there. So I learn and try new things. I look at ways to celebrate my students so that hopefully they don't feel this. This... never enough.
Lately I have been finding myself stumble upon reading that asks us as teachers to recognize the unique awesome that each of our students possess, their excellence. This last week I had another interview, in it I talked about how important this work is to me. The why has always been the success of my students. Now it is more than that. I don't just want them to have success, I want them to thrive, to find their excellence and utilize it to lift where and when it is needed.
Two days ago I read a students work and for the first time tears came to my eyes. Their writing was a simple poem. Not the assigned task but one they thought they could be successful at. As I read the student reflected on why they treasure poetry, their struggles with writing, how poems just made sense, let them "be good at something". I don't know for a certainty why it hit me so hard. Maybe it was that connection of not ever feeling good at something, or that I recognized that for a moment I had helped, that in that moment the "you are a fraud" voice in my head crept away to the shadows as this students excellence shined bright.
I sat at my desk and wiped away a couple of tears and the student looked back at me and smiled.
The voice is not gone. The "how are you doing?" questions will continue to come and I will continue to say "Oh great" knowing I am not but maybe tomorrow I will be.
One step at a time.