Being a teacher holds a world of responsibility. Not only do I need to show up, but I must show up prepared. That preparation takes time, effort, and ingenuity. Prep time is precious too. If someone interrupts my rhythm of thought, I can lose my whole idea. Is anyone else like that? It's as if I never even had the brilliant idea if it can fly out of my head that easily!
Even still, preparation isn't just the materials or content you're imparting to young minds either. You have to come prepared to get real. Teaching junior high and high schoolers takes grit and truth, or those kids will eat you alive. Your heart isn't safe either. They can get so funny and interesting that you connect with their writing when they share parts of themselves. You begin to wish every good thing for their futures as if they were part of your family—almost but not quite.
Another way teachers have to be prepared is knowing how to help students if/when they are having a hard time. You have to know what to say, who to ask for support, and, most of all, not make things worse by trying to help.
I'm grateful for having the responsibility of being prepared to teach. The fine young men and women who I have been able to guide thus far have taught me many things and enriched my life immeasurably.
Today, I feel the weight of my responsibility, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.