I went to my yearly physical with my doctor yesterday, and I have to admit, I was dreading it. I had put on a few pounds since last year, and I was expecting some (friendly) reprimanding. Instead he ended up giving me something better than medicine: He began talking about the current situation in education. He told me that he knew teachers were facing unprecedented challenges—being asked to do more now than ever. He knows students are more entitled and parents less supportive. But then he gave me some encouragement. Turns out, his wife is a teacher, which I did not know. He said he knows teaching has never been easy, and it’s never been lucrative. People become teachers because they want to help others. It’s more than a profession; it’s a calling and a mission. He thanked me for all of my efforts and thoroughly encouraged me. Before I left, he did tell me to lose ten pounds before our next visit. But I left feeling better than ever.
Often times, a little word of encouragement does us more good than we can ever imagine. An Old Testament proverb says it this way: “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person's strength” (Proverbs 17:22). I hope you are feeling motivated and appreciated during these trying times. If not, remind yourself that teaching is more than a job; it’s a calling and a mission. That simple fact can keep you going during the tough times.