What We Don’t Say….

I couldn’t sleep last night. I was giving a speech in my head, a speech I would like to give two weeks from now when I do my last official duties in my current job. I gave it, edited it, and gave it again while I looked at the faces in my imaginary crowd.

I wanted my audience to understand I did the very best I could to make them better teachers and to increase the achievement of our students; not so the teachers would look better and the kids would score higher, but that all might have better lives. I wanted my teachers to realize that I know that I made mistakes, that I am not perfect, but that within the constraints of my personality and district politics that I did the best I could, and that I am terribly sorry it was not good enough.

I also thought about the fact that a few of my friends have said to me recently, in some form or another “I wish people knew the REAL you, the one I know”. I do too, believe me, I do. Nevertheless, the ‘real’ me is the entire package, warts and all. I guess it depends on the part you want to know.

Part of that package is a human being who hurts. When somone tells me, as one did two days ago, “I talk to you because I have to in order to do my job” it hurts. In my mind I catalogued and spoke about all the hurts encountered in this job; I really wanted people to know what I put into this job, and what it cost in hurt, lost sleep, friendships that evidently weren’t.

This whole process took about half the night, and then I resolved to never give that speech as I could see no chance of reaching some people, and if I actually had anyone who listened and understood, they would hurt too, and I don’t want to do that.

I am convinced that we come equipped with two ears and just one mouth for a reason. This job change will give me the opportunity to talk less, and listen more, and then maybe, just maybe, I’ll take my experience and better realize that the ones I am listening to are not the jobs they fill, but human beings who are quite probably doing the best they can.


About Edward

Dishwasher, bartender, cook, house painter, movie usher, Marine helicopter pilot, teacher, administrator, teacher again, retired teacher, Secular Franciscan, Lay Ecclesial Minister- it's been an interesting ride.
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