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.