Amelia Gibson Lehman
Let me share with you something about working with small children. It’s really hard. Today I went to the bathroom more times to cry for a few minutes than to use the bathroom. Today I was physically tired, mentally drained, and emotionally depleted. Today I felt like I wasn’t who my kids needed me to be. Today I felt like a terrible teacher.
If you are a good teacher, I don’t care how well you do at balancing work and life – your job follows you home in your heart. You carry the grief of a child struggling, the anxiety of the next day, and the small victories and successes home with you and it effects your relationships and connections in your “real life.” It’s just the nature of a heart who bleeds for these young souls. I am blessed to feel the intensity of the love I have for the 50 plus kids I directly interact with every day, but I also deeply feel the other side of the coin. It is a feeling like no other… to put so much love and effort and time and thought and energy into these small people that move on from your class the next year and sometimes move away altogether; it fills my heart while it breaks it in two. I’ve never felt something more bittersweet.
Tomorrow I have another opportunity to be there for my class and to show them love they can feel secure in, but tonight I can take care of me. Tonight, I’ll unwind, and I’ll refuel.
Please pray for your kids’ teachers and your teacher friends. We’re educating and hugging and redirecting and comforting and holding the literal future of our world.
The enormity of it all is not lost on us. It’s daunting and it’s scary but regardless, we show up and we continue to give pieces of our hearts we didn’t think we had left. Teachers, you are so important.
** Note from a member of the program quality assessment team: When I saw my friend Amelia post this on her Facebook wall, my heart swelled and broke all at the same time. I’ve been there as a preschool teacher, a center director, and an assessor. My heart grew full when I read the comments that her friends and parents of the children who she educates wrote. My friend Amelia is making a difference, just like you all are making a difference in the lives of children every day. ~ Amy Hoffman
Amelia has been working in the two-year-old class at Faith Factory Learning Center for seven years. She has spent time as a full time in-home nanny, and is currently a dance instructor in the evenings. She has been working with children in some capacity since she was a child herself. In her spare time she likes to run, garden, play with her dogs, and hang out with her husband Sean.