The Guilts

Here’s the thing… the school year ends. I reflect. I think. I worry. I then get a severe case of the guilts. I think most of us do this… or maybe it’s just me.

Did I do enough?  And the answer is always no.

Don’t get me wrong. I work hard. I do a lot. I get all of that… however, there are still things that sit with me. Things that I wish I had done differently. Things that I wish had gone a different way. Children I wish I had reached or done more for.

In an effort to move on, I will write about them. I will let go of my ‘guilts’ right here… and then move on.

  • I wish I had connected with N. I tried. New days. New ideas. But even at the end of 180 days, I don’t really think she knew how much she mattered to me and how much I worried about her.
  • I wish I had fit in more conferring and small group work with all my kids. The days go fast, the ideas come quick, but the time just flies and I didn’t get to as many kids as much as I would have like.
  • I wish I had found a way to reach W to make him engage in our work  There were days he was there and highly engaged. Then other days were just so hard. I know it was what he carried with him, but I still wish I had taught him more.
  • I wish writing club would have written  more. We became all consumed with the newspaper and I need to rethink how I do this next year.
  • I wish I had led the KidLit Quiz group. There was just no time to pull yet another group, but it’s so valuable… and I will make it work next year.

So here’s the thing… I do know beyond all these ‘guilts’ there are A LOT of things that I am incredibly proud of. Things that went really well this year. So now here are the things that I am happy for…

  • I am happy that my new teammate is fantastic and gives me permission to stop and not take everything to the highest level there is.
  • I am happy that H (a child who pushed back on most everything) wrote me a thank you card that told me that I was her favorite teacher this year and that I made a difference in her life AND in the last week of school when I jokingly said “Oh my gosh, you do love me!” She replied with, “Of course, I do!” as if I should have known all along.
  • I am happy that GeoBee club was a huge success this year with over 30 students and I ran a Geo Bee competition that we have never done before.
  • I am happy that the writing/newspaper club had over 20 members and we engaged the WHOLE school in our newspaper!
  • I am happy that A found his place in our room and was available for so much learning after the new year.
  • I am happy that I created and taught an entire scope and sequence for grammar and vocabulary that made sense to kids (and me)!
  • I am happy that O,  a new student, wrote me the sweetest, homemade thank you card explaining how I helped her as she moved into a new school.

So while I will always think of what I could have done… I am pretty proud by what I have done as well. Here is to the summer to reflect, relax, and rejuvenate.


2 thoughts on “The Guilts”

  1. It’s good that you’ve reflected on the successes and frustrations of your teaching. In that way, you can keep improving. But guilt– I hope you throw it out the window! You are a dedicated teacher who has helped children learn. When things have gone awry, it has not been based on your lack of effort. So much of teaching and learning is a dynamic between people; you can only do your share; you can’t do the other person’s part for him/her. Reflect but try not to regret. You don’t need to be perfect to be a great teacher.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the structure of this post. Our last teaching day was yesterday (I wrote about it, too…), and I really related to your opening & your first list. Then, you surprised me with your second list. The various successes allowed the guilts to fade a little – they’re not wiped away, of course, but this post allows for a balance, a recognition of what really happened. In fact, you are inspiring me to make a list of things I did well this year. This is a skill I need to learn. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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