Photo: istock

For my friends, as they set sail in uncharted waters; wherever they may lead.

I see you.

I’m the guy with the kid who bounces off the walls–the four-year-old, who you are already thinking about. You think: Is he going to keep his mask on? Will he sit still? Is he going to practice safe social distancing? [I laughed out loud when I typed that last sentence. We all know the answer to that one. No.] You think.

I see you.

You’re worried. About getting sick, yes; but, you’re more worried about bringing illness home to your family–your parents, your kids, your grandparents. You’re worried about seeing healthy students succumb to the spread of disease that we don’t have much experience with. You’re worried about your friends and fellow teachers who you know are vulnerable. You’re worried.

I see you.

You love. You love your students and want to be with them–yes, even the ones you love a little less. You love your work. You love the happiness that comes from the joy in a child’s eyes when she gets it. You love working with parents–even the ones you love a little less. You love.

I see you.

You know. You know this is going to be hard. You know this is going to be crazy. You know you are going to be blamed. You know what sacrifice is (you do it every time you step in front of a classroom for what they pay you) and you know you are being asked to sacrifice yet more. You know the kids need you. You know the world is insane. You know.

I see you.

Remember. You think, you’re worried, you love, you know. But also, you’re strong. And you matter. My little boy is starting his journey. This little boy is somewhere in the middle. And, it was because of one special teacher, that he was able to make his way. [For more about that teacher, click the link, supra.]

For a video on how to help teachers deal with student anxiety, check out 5 Essential Picture Books for Back to School Anxiety and  Social/Emotional Health.

This post originally appeared on Mr. Alex's Bookshelf.