Rebecca Burtram

Coming Up for Air

I had always vowed to leave teaching before I became one of the teachers who was bitter and angry. I left a bit too late. But I had never stopped caring, wanting the kids to succeed, or loving the challenge of finding a new way to bring the content to life.

The passion that kept me afloat was also what wore me out.

I couldn’t stop the frustration of working against a system that disregarded everything research shows us concerning adolescent development. Our administration stripped the teachers of the tools necessary to help students succeed and then blamed the teachers when kids struggled.

I was sinking, and I knew I had to come up for air.

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An Angry Teacher and Mr. Rogers

Well, I was angry. Or I still am. I don’t know in this moment. I had planned to write a post to process my anger when I woke up yesterday. I was going to be open about the fact that I find myself swearing and venting and spewing grossness from inside because I have let anger take my peace, and I was hoping that the grace would come in the confessing.

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To All the Students I’ve Loved Before

In that moment I don’t know if I have what it takes to truly know the wonderful mysteries sitting before me on day one. I know they will baffle, thrill, and annoy me to no end. They’ll give me a thousand stories to tell my husband and my friends about the clever, stupid, rude, or sweet things they do all year long. But then the last day will come, and I’ll be thinking, “I don’t want it to end,” and some pain in the butt kid will actually say it right out loud.
AND I WILL BE DONE FOR.

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