Everyone knows the feeling…
Your shoes come off, your feet take in a breath of fresh air, and you inevitably let out a gentle sigh of long awaited relief. Your toes stretch out like plants growing towards the light, and then they sink, deeper and deeper, into the blanket of carpet that surrounds them. In a single instance, stresses of the day seem to lessen a little bit.
If you are like me, then you are always on your feet. Jumping, skipping, walking, pacing, dancing, and sometimes even cartwheeling around the classroom.
Wondering why I included cartwheeling? I completely get it; cartwheels are kind of a crazy thing to do in a cramped room with 30+ tiny human bodies surrounding you. But, when you teach middle school kiddos (or any level to be honest), you find every possible song, dance, rap, etc. that can help them understand and remember concepts. Often times, the sillier the jingle, dance, or comparison is, the more likely students will be able to recall. And let me tell you, transformational rotations explained through cartwheels sure did please the crowd.
Alas, going back to my first thought. Feet. Well, not exactly feet. Truly, I’m more interested in the stories that our feet tell.
I once saw a picture on Facebook of a nurse asleep in a chair with her feet propped up as she was getting her hair cut. The caption, as well as the comments, praised the profession and marveled at all the possible lives she had saved, tears she had dried, hands she had held, and families she had consoled. Her shoes told a story – a story of hard work, dedication, and passion.
I am a firm believer that as educators, our shoes and our feet tell a similar story. Our feet bear the mark of countless hours consisting of countless steps, all for one common cause: cultivating our children.
Pacing throughout class, making sure students know that help is only a few steps away at all times. Walking students home so they have a friend to talk to. Strutting sullen students to the principal’s office like it is the day of reckoning. Chasing after students who are, quite literally, running away from the real world and the responsibility within. Stepping into the hallway to share life advice with a child who just needs someone to listen. Carrying athletes off of the track when they can no longer hold their own weight.
Every single step we take represents a step towards making a student’s life better. Regardless of what occurs in our own, or in others’ lives, we continue on the path. Step by step. So yeah, that light sigh of relief when we free our feet of the day’s constraints, it should feel good. Our feet are tired, and our shoes are worn. Enjoy the momentary relief, because as we all know – there are more steps and more students to reach in the morning. When the alarm goes off, it’s back to the same shoes, same steps, and same purpose.
My feet tell my story, and where my steps have taken me. Where have yours been?