From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

July 7

There are days, like today, when I wonder why I am a teacher. Despite my best efforts, the world of pronouns remains a mystery to my fifth-graders. During lunch period, a child became sick and needed me to gather her assignments while she waited for her mother. Then an argument broke out at recess.

I can’t seem to get out of my classroom ahead of the traffic, and as I sit, threaded behind a distant stoplight, I replay the day and revisit the tension. Then I remember why I’m still teaching. It’s the children. They’re more important than a lifetime filled with quiet evenings and more valuable than a pocket filled with money. The world of noise, pronouns, recess and homework is my world. My classroom, a child-filled world of discovery, kindness and caring is the real world. And I’m so lucky to be in it.

The traffic light clears, and I move into the shady streets of my neighborhood. It’s time to call my friend and tell her I can’t meet her tonight. She’ll understand. She’s a teacher.

Kris Hamm Ross

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