Rebecca Burtram




Today’s blog was going to be about the daily grind. I was going to make a photo collage with a picture of my laundry baskets, full of course, and my stack of papers to grade. However, the top essay stole the show. It is titled, “The Essay to End All Essays.”

Oh, God, please let it be true! Let this essay end all other essays.

I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to teach English without grading an endless stream of essays. Unfortunately, there are some English teachers that live in a world without essays. I, however, am a strong believer that students should leave my classroom capable of forming a decent, if not mind blowing, five paragraph essay. Thus, the gigantic stack of papers to grade.

I say stack singular because I swear the stack never ends. No matter how many papers I grade, there are more. There are always more. It never ends…..seriously, never.

I only say this because my blog is about my incessant need for perfection. There is no perfection in teaching. Every day I fail. I cannot do enough.

I can never spend enough time to completeĀ all that I want to accomplish. There are more lessons to create, more papers to grade, more parent emails to answer, more meetings to attend, more papers to grade, more standardized tests to prepare non standard students for, and, of course, more papers to grade.

When I grade the papers, every error I mark is either me failing to teach well enough or the students failing. If the students are failing, aren’t I still failing?

This is why I need to find grace for myself and grace for others. I could literally, and I am using the word literally correctly here, go insane if I don’t allow myself and others room to fail a little.

I know there are many jobs with a lot of pressure, but do me a favor anyway: give a teacher a little grace today. While you’re at it, give yourself a little grace too.

By Rebecca Burtram

I am a woman in my mid thirties figuring out how to balance an intense need for perfection with the reality of my own imperfections. The answer I am finding is grace.....and plenty of it.
As a mother of three, a teacher, a church planter, and a runner, I have many opportunities to practice giving myself and others the grace I need to survive.

Grace and Imperfection:

The River Walk (Guest Author on Fridays):


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