1 Week Down 35 More To Go: A Letter To Memphis Teachers

Math. Literature. Science. First Grade. Sixth Grade. High School – The education system in Memphis is divided amongst numerous subject areas and grade levels, however, one thing remains constant: teachers.

This one is for ya’ll.

Last Sunday, you bid summer farewell. Maybe you did it with a final pool day, a family dinner, or one last happy hour. Regardless of how you celebrated your last summer sunset, you all awoke Monday with the same intent: to empower students in Memphis to lead a full life. You woke up before half of the city, laced up your shoes, sharpened pencils, studied your 1st day itinerary/lesson plans, re-arranged desks, and took a final deep breathe before all the new faces eagerly flooded through your doors. You’ve repeated your name 17 times, passed out too many syllabi to count,  pinpointed which students are going to need a little extra attention and which students will probably be teaching you.

The morning flew by and before you knew it, it was lunch time and you hadn’t gone to the restroom or sat down since 5:30 AM. The afternoon came and it was the same playbook as the morning, except your energy wasn’t as high, your patience a tad bit shorter, and your students  a lot more hyper. The final bell rang right as you were re-introducing yourself and you hurriedly line your students up to escort them towards dismissal. It’s been a long day, your kids are having to repeat their questions to you, and you’re frantically looking around the room for you classroom keys. *hint hint* they are ALWAYS on the lanyard hanging from your neck. Your kids have gone home and the first day of school is now a memory; a resource to use to prepare for the days ahead.

The Teach901 team is immensely proud and thankful for our Memphis educators this week. We know the intense, conflicting emotions our teachers are experiencing during the first week: excitement, nervousness, passion, frustration, exhaustion, and energy. You’ve taken on the greatest, most important task; the responsibility  for the education of our children and essentially the future of our city. Over the next 35 weeks, you will  help grow individuals physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially.  You will address each student with vigor, tough love, and belief regardless of the zipcode they reside in or color of their skin. You will be an anchor for children when things are tough at home and a cheerleader when things are great. You will be a shoulder to cry on and a hand to wipe away tears. You will be frustrated and at wits end, yet still show up with a smile on your face and consistent dedication. You will be the guide to students discovering their dreams and finding the path to make them a reality. Most days you’ll be the biggest hero and some days you’ll feel like a wicked a villain.

Nevertheless, teachers, every second of every day, you put others first while making each little human feel the most important. You are the only humans in Memphis with the power to orchestrate a room full of children, inspiring them to perform at their highest. You’re all  magic.

This year is going to be full of many ups and downs and we at Teach901 hope you remember this letter and how truly kick ass every single one of you are. We hope when you’re pouring over tomorrow’s lesson plans while shoveling dinner into your mouth, you’ll feel dignity and honor knowing you’ve answered one of the greatest calls of action.

Teach901 cannot say thank you enough. We may be more proud than your parents. One week down, thirty five more to go.

We’re always looking for new, creative, and innovative ways to support Memphis’ mind molders- whether it be freebies, happy hours, Grizz games, and events. Follow Teach901 on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for all things teaching in Memphis.

Do you or a fellow teacher have a story from your classroom that you’re interested in sharing? Email shelby@cityleadership.org with any ideas.

Know a teacher who needs a reminder of how awesome they are? Email me directly, emily@cityleadership.org