I’ve heard plenty of cliches about teachers being overworked and underpaid.
I’ve heard teachers express the sentiment that nobody else can possibly understand what their jobs entail.
But good grief!
Nobody told me that teaching would consume my entire life–my every thought.
Nobody told me that I would need to be a magician, a mind reader, and an acrobat, just to make it through each period and from one classroom to the next.
Nobody told me how not to cry while grading a remarkable essay in the middle of class.
But mostly, nobody told me what to say when my student answers her telephone and tells me she hasn’t been to school for three days because her father and brother just died and they don’t know how to pay for the funerals. And will I come to her car wash tomorrow?
She seemed to think I should know all about this. Have some answers maybe.
But I don’t.
And the longer I sit here, the less I know.