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The Need for Grace in Impossible Times: Tales from the First Year

By James Button

So today, I walk into school around 7, have my coffee and my breakfast, first period planning is really nice. I open up my computer, start checking in on emails, and I have one from a parent. “Dear James,” it opens with. The next 7 minutes of my life were the highest my blood pressure has been since running a half marathon. Six paragraphs of criticizing my teaching strategies and directly pointing out how I have been lazy, unforgiving, not providing opportunities for their student to fully grasp the material, and overall lacking as a teacher for their student.

I.

Am.

Steaming.

(Picture Elmer Fudd after another failed attempt to get Bugs, and he hears, “Whats up doc?”)


The email ends with a sign off “from your fellow educator.” This one didn’t make me as angry. This made me downright sad. Not only are we in the midst of a pandemic. Not only are we walking through one of the hardest times of our lives. Not only is this my first year teaching, during the hardest time of our lives, in a pandemic, when I only see your student half the time I normally would, but to say such hateful and critical things TO ANOTHER EDUCATOR! Our society can find a lot to criticize about anything. But man, let’s not cannibalize ourselves with this negativity.


Let’s be the first to give grace to fellow educators because we understand where they are coming from. Let’s be the first to say you’re doing a great job. Let’s be the first to lend a helping hand. December 9th was a very hard day. Break is right around the corner. If you’re an educator in any capacity right now, I want to tell you. “From your fellow educator” you’re doing great, and we are going to make it through this together.



 
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