I’ve been thinking a lot about sports and how sports stars are represented and shown and celebrated. I do this from time to time, especially when I am force-fed the championship games of any sport in order to hang out with my husband. There is always a point in time when my mind starts to wander off and I start wondering what it would look like if we treated teachers the same way that athletes are treated in the moments surrounding championships.
Perhaps one of my colleagues is filmed sitting quietly with a child in flashes over weeks, patiently waiting and trying different ways to break that code, waiting for the AHA moment, and then it comes, and that too was captured on film. Cue the music, a knowing smile on the teacher’s face, a bright one on the child’s. How awesome would it be if every teacher had a moment where their triumph was televised nationally? And people tuned in to watch.
Or, can you just imagine, me running around the corner, with my fists pumping, in slow motion, just after I provided a space for a child to finally mourn her mother, through a cute, even silly “Dear Mr. Pumpkin”, low stakes writing prompt when unexpected pumpkins had dropped into our laps? I had no idea, but I trusted the process, and trusted kids to write in ways that matter to them, and it gave her that space, and she finally let some of that stuff out.
“No one knows that I don’t really like you. I hate you. You always remind me of that time of year, when she went away. You were everywhere. We never have pumpkins now.”
Play the music, show the cheering teachers surrounding me, streamers released from above, celebrating my move.
Nah. Feels weird. And kinda not the point.
But I do think about it sometimes. Our work is largely ignored. Taken for granted. No one is watching for the little miracles every day– no one sees them. We are isolated. We work harder than most people. It can be tedious. Difficult. Routine. Or not. Patience, and faith, and lots and lots of mistakes. And near misses. But then, it happens. But no one is watching. Where’s the music? The streamers? The photos showing the labor? The celebration? Not happening.
That is okay. ‘Cause the only two people who need to know are the two who witnessed it. And that footage can play over and over in our hearts.