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Mewed up to my heaviness

There is so much I want to say here. So much I want to just pour on this page and out of my heart. So many tears that are in my throat and stuck right behind my eyes. Tears that won’t come.

Tonight my mind is full. Bursting with thoughts, mostly negative. Many sad.

My heart is heavy. Defeated.


It’s been one year since he took his own life. One year since the hardest thing I’ve done as a teacher.

One year.

And today, only one other soul mentioned him to me. She came to see me and gave me a copy of a speech she’d written about him. Just so I could read it and be reminded me that he I’m not the only one thinking of him today.

That he lived.

And he mattered.

I remember a conversation we had in class one day where I challenged him saying that they’d change some day. Their beliefs and ways would change.

“Not me,” he said.

“But yes,” I said back.


And that was that. That was all he had to say. And in my mind and in this life, he hasn’t changed. I can still hear his voice, just as deep and twangy as it always was. I can still see his tall, lanky frame, legs sprawled underneath a desk.

I remember.

He mattered to me.

His life will always matter to me.

He helped define me as a teacher. He helped show me that my job is to teach life. To teach hope. And to use literature to do that whenever I can.

And so my heart is heavy right now because of that loss.

But my heart is also heavy because I’m losing part of my identity as a teacher to scheduling and life. Or politics.

Or all of the above.

Because of him I know that my job has a greater purpose. His death threw my job into perspective.

I’m losing the part of my job that is my passion. The thing that I know for the first time in my life and beyond a shadow of any doubt that I am good at.

I’m losing it and because it is my way of seeing things it seems unlikely I will ever get this back.

It feels like I’m being told I’m not good enough to teach what I love. That I’m not worthy. That I’m not valuable.

To my profession. To my students. To anyone.

It feels like I don’t matter.

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Thursday 12th of May 2011

I agree - I think it means you care and that's a huge part of being a successful teacher. But if you aren't fulfilled, that's okay. It's okay to explore that and wonder if you need to change something. I'm feeling the exact same way about my job and not long ago my sister said to me, "Maybe your superpowers are needed elsewhere now." Seems silly, but I think it's true, at least for me.


Wednesday 11th of May 2011

My heart hurts for you, Miranda. We lost a student to suicide three years ago and it does NOT get easier. Luckily at our school he is very much talked about and there is a scholarship in his name and we do fundraisers for suicide awareness.

I have to be honest, your heart feeling this much weight is a sign that you are a wonderful teacher. You are what the teaching profession needs. Someone who cares and loves hard.


Tuesday 10th of May 2011


I know how you feel. About loss - I think about Ken - and about work.

Jess@Straight Talk

Tuesday 10th of May 2011

I'm sorry friend. And I promise that the ones you are touching will continue to be touched. That's not something that can be taken away even with all the paperwork and bureaucratic mess. The caring and compassion will sneak in bit by bit throughout the year.

You are special and important. You do something that so many of us can't. You rock.


Tuesday 10th of May 2011

I can guarantee that you matter. To every kid who walks through the door to your classroom. You're teaching them (maybe reluctantly, but still). Teaching is one of the hardest jobs - if it were just teaching, and nothing else, it'd be difficult, but easy enough. No, you need to teach, to make a difference in kids' lives while dealing with parents who haven't a clue how to parent, administrators who seemingly do their own thing on their own agenda, and kids who would rather be out exploring what their hormones are telling them to do.

Hold your head high - and do what you love. As long as you're doing that, you'll find that the bullshit is meaningless & you'll get back to knowing that you matter.

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