This year I am feeling guilty. I am rushing home after school, not staying to plan or meet with our formative assessment team. I missed the first district school improvement meeting and haven’t made a middle school sporting event. This is new for me. Up until this school year, my wife was a stay at home mom. Taking care of our 3 wonderful kids while I worked and looked after my school family. Now she has returned to the work force. I want to stay for school events, but I have my own kids who need me too.
Teachers all over the country are dealing with the guilt of leaving one family to take care of the other. Communities expect teachers to attend every school event. To be around to tutoring, to help out at dances and sporting events. Even to coach sports teams. To attend school events many teachers sacrifice time with their own families. If a school event is missed I feel guilty for not supporting my students. I also feel this guilt when I miss my own children’s event too.
I went into teaching as a second career to make a difference. I know I would not get rich financially but become rich in the connections I made to the community and with my students. Every student who ever walks in my door is “MINE”. I care deeply about them. I feel guilty when they ask if I can attend their game or event and I can’t attend. I especially feel the guilt this week. Our high school has a tradition for Homecoming, football players are to present staff members who made a difference in their educational career with a jersey along with a letter explain why the staff members was picked. This is the second year I have been presented with a jersey. Sadly my 10 year old son has a baseball game at the same time as the homecoming game.
I few outside of education understand how torn teachers can feel. I over hear comments from parents about why teachers can do more after school. Or why Teachers can attend events. We try, we want to, but we have kids too!