Now, I'm not just talking about the biggie, school tragedies that occur and without hesitation teachers put themselves in the line of fire.
I'm not just talking about teachers stepping in to stop a fight, or holding bystanders back so the can't jump in.
I'm not just talking about the physical wear and tear, and the running down of your body and your energy.
I'm talking about emotions.
When people ask me if I have children I say no. But really. For those nine months during the school year I have 50 children. Which grows every year.
I care about these kids. Who they're are, what they are interested in. When there is is drama because they broke up (side note: why are you dating in sixth grade... You have all the time in the world) I listen. When their parent isn't home at night to share stories with I speak with them in the morning.
The biggest danger is when your students are hurting and there isn't anything you can do. I have a student who was absent for a week. I then found out they had tried to harm themselves. My heart broke. The sweetest kid. With a smile on their face they are the ones you often never suspect are dying a little on the inside.
So you take on a little of that pain. You go home and pray for that student. You show them as much caring and kindness as you can.
You talk to a student whose mother was deported. Who had a parent lose their job. Who rushes home everyday to take care of their siblings. Who has fallen so far behind in reading, you worry that they'll never catch up.
You walk out of your building trying to leave it at the door. Some days you can.
But some days those things weigh heavy like a backpack full of stones. As you drive home you toss a stone out of the window every mile. Hurting for the student, but knowing you need to take care of you.
Some days that bag comes home. You sit with it. Hold it. Live under it.
Teaching is a dangerous profession. However the people who are truly meant to be a part of it, do amazing things for students. We teach, parent, coach, counsel, cheer, care, nurse, empower and more.
There are times when you feel like you can't go anymore. You are decked out in orange so the he danger sees you coming and turns the other way. But more often then not you sit in camouflage, ready to strike if it helps your students.
Teaching is a dangerous profession. Teaching is a wonderful profession. One that I am happy to be a part of.