One of the constant battles faced by educators is the feeling that you will never be enough. I often feel like I don't have enough time, enough resources, enough patience, enough knowledge to give my students all they need. It is now common for educators to fill the role of teacher, parent, mentor, coach, social worker, and friend all at once. There are so many needs that need to be met in my classroom on any given day. Some students need a pencil, others need breakfast. Some need advice for their college essay and others need advice about whether or not to get an abortion. Students need attention, bathroom passes, bonus points, higher reading levels, better friends, drug rehab, etc. Deciding which needs to meet is a constant triage of importance. What is more valuable, classroom community culture or bell to bell instruction? Should I focus more on pulling out what is already intrinsically in a student or pushing more information into their heads? Should I make their strengths stronger or boost their weaknesses?
In a few days my remedial students will re-take the STAAR English I and II tests. I feel great about what we've accomplished as a class this year, but also with I had a few more days with two of me to give every student the last bits of instruction that could make the difference in a passing and failing score. I told my students this and one of them took a picture of me teaching and made it a mirror image so there are two of me! You've gotta love their sense of humor :)