06/09/2014 02:36 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 01:05 EDT

I Want To See My Students Soar, But Today I Cried

Don Mason via Getty Images

Today I cried. I cried because I don't want to be striking. I just want to teach. I love my job. I love those students. Every single one of them.

I cried because we feel alone. We are together, but we feel alone. We feel that no one cares enough to stand up with us.

Today, one amazing parent at our school dropped off the most precious gift. It was a book of notes from my students. Notes meant to "fill my bucket." They were precious. They meant the world to me. This gift will go into a special box of mementos from my teaching career.

I'd rather be planning year-end parties. I'd rather be planning ways to bring closure to our year as a classroom community, together. I'd rather be looking at how far my students have come as I sit at home and mark year-end assessments and begin the arduous task of writing report cards for the third time this year.

But what's the alternative? If truth be told, there are other things that I would rather happen.

I'd rather see my students who have struggled so desperately to learn to be better writers this year, get the help they so desperately need. I'd rather I didn't look over at the students who are good writers and feel frustrated that I can't get over to help them become great writers because I am stuck helping the same four, six, eight students, time after time.

I'd rather the student who waited to get testing didn't have to go through the anxiety felt when the jump to Grade 4 felt completely overwhelming.

I'd rather not have to meet with one more parent who is desperate to help their child understand math so they do not need to spend summer months on tutoring. I'd rather see all the children in my classroom thrive. Soar. Succeed.

But today, I cry. Because as much as I want this to happen, I'm afraid that there just isn't enough of me to go around.

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