Teaching Isn’t Always Rainbows and Butterflies

I have been holding on to this post for a while. I had a very difficult time at work, the worst of my career. My anxiety spiked so high, every day I considered walking out and never returning.


Some of the time, I was just sitting there staring at the students thinking, “It can’t get any worse. It can’t get any worse. They can’t be serious. This can’t be real.”

I gave all my oxygen to people that could breathe

I gave away my money and now we don’t even speak

I drove miles and miles, but would you do the same for me?

Save Myself by Ed Sheeran



Teaching can be the most rewarding profession, but then it can be quite the opposite.


I became a teacher, because I had so many teachers in my past tell me I can’t do something, or look down on me just because of the color of my skin. I refused to let anyone define me, or define who I can become. I chose my own path in life, and I chose the path of advocacy.

I gave you all my energy and I took away your pain

‘Cause human beings are destined to radiate or dream

I want to be the cheerleader for all of my students, and push them to work hard at whatever it is they want to accomplish in life. I want to show them that a path exists to wherever they want to go in life, they just have to work hard and stay focused.

I have met so many amazing students, and so many amazing people. Looking into the eyes of some of my students, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them. Speaking to them now when they are 14, I see future CEOs and future leaders.

However, there is a downside. The downside of teaching, is what many people don’t talk about. It is so draining. It drains everything I have in my body. Everything I have in my spirit and my soul. As their teacher, I have had to absorb so much.


So much of their pain, so much of their hurt. Terrible things happen to my students outside of school, and to them I’m a safe person. Since I’m their safe person, they take it all out on me. As their teacher, I have to accept that, and show them nothing but love in return.

As kids, they have a right to feel safe, and to feel loved.


They gave me the heartache and in return I gave a song

It goes on and on

But it has become too much for me to absorb. Too much for me to handle. It is too much to deal with students threatening me. It is too much to have my students physically hurt me. It’s hard when I send them out for this behavior, my principal tells me it’s my fault, and I’m not doing enough. What am I supposed to do when a person that is bigger than me is threatening to hurt me? What more should I do?

It’s hard when I don’t feel safe at my job. Every week, another one of our students either gets shot, shoots someone, or dies. Our building is under constant threat from gang violence. I don’t feel safe walking to my car, because we’ve had so many kids get shot right outside.

So when I’m inside my classroom, my home away from home, and it’s still not safe, it’s terrible. We have students assaulting each other with chairs. The principal tells them it’s not nice and sends them back to class.


We have staff and students leave the building in ambulances due to assault, yet the people in charge do nothing to help. They blame the victims. They blame the students for ‘talking too much’ and that they deserved to be harmed. They blame the staff members for not having good classroom management when a student decides they’re going to try to jump another kid in the classroom just because they live on the wrong street.

After the shooting on Valentine’s Day in Florida, I just felt broken inside. I went to work and wanted to have a discussion with my students. However, going to work made it worse. I had students say things like “I wish I was in a school shooting. It would be so fun to survive that.”


I broke. I couldn’t speak. The students agreeing with him. I teach 16 year olds, not babies.


Most of my students didn’t care, because they live that reality every day. They live knowing they aren’t safe in school, or out. A student got jumped in front of the school and when I talked with him I was telling him I’m happy he’s alive, and they didn’t have a gun. He responded that they did have a gun, and they were waiting for someone to try to save him to shoot them.


This needs to be talked about more.


Another student’s response was that this is just what white people do, so why should they care. I had students respond to that by proceeding to bully any student in the school that was of a lighter complexion. They began bullying the kids that were mixed, accusing them of thinking about shooting up the school.


This caused my anxiety to spike so much more. This actually broke me. I couldn’t handle it and I went numb. It is too terrible to know this is the reality for these students. I wish they had better circumstances. I wish a lot of things were different. Things can only change if everyone works hard, and I hope they do.


And all the ones that love me they just left me on the shelf

No farewell

So before I save someone else, I’ve got to save myself

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