When you stay

This morning, I got up at 6am after snoozing my alarm for an hour. I’m not good AT ALL at going to bed at a reasonable hour because I am a Night. Owl. Period. (morning people, I am eternally jealous) which translates to being even worse at getting up in the AM.

Tuesday was Tuesday, and at 3:30, as I walked over with my girls to begin cheer practice, I felt tired. Tired and ready to go home.

The fact that today was only Tuesday was not lost on me either. This past weekend already felt so far away.

So, it’s after school on a Tuesday. I’m tired and ready to be out of my flowy skirt with the slightly too tight elastic waist band and I know that I just have to make it two more hours and then I am home free. Or, free to go. Free to go home.

3:30 turns to 5:30 and YAY I can go home.

Netflix, NCIS, and Leroy Jethro Gibbs are calling my name.

The thought of sweatpants is making the pinching elastic feel a little more bearable.

It is time to go. Not stay.

But then, as I am leaving, I pass the gym and remember the home volleyball game that I can just make. If. I. stay.

I pass the gym, remember the home volleyball game, and hear my vball girls asking me “Miss Lee, when are you going to stay and come to a volleyball game?”

And while yes, I am still tired and the elastic is still pinching my waist…Netflix will have to wait. My waist will just have to deal with it for awhile longer. Leroy Jethro Gibbs will have to crime solve without me for a few more hours.

Because when you stay, when you show up even though you don’t have to, when you give just a little extra on a Tuesday, you are letting them know that you see them, that they are important, that you love them and you think they’re awesome.

And if my students don’t know that. If I don’t show them on a daily basis that I flat.out.love.them.right.where.they.are, then I should just keep on snoozing my alarm and call it an extra long weekend.

Today, when I stayed, settling in on the bleachers with some popcorn and some caffeine (Lord knows some caffeine) I enjoyed a revolving door of student companions who sat down just because.

Just because I stayed.

Today, when I stayed, I got to have one on one conversations with students and actually look at their faces.

Fellow teachers, do you know what I’m talking about here? How when you actually sit down and talk one on one with a student, you realize how little you actually look at them individually in the face. How much you miss when you are constantly standing in front of them talking to the whole room, you at your stool, them at their desks? How much of who they are comes out when you are looking at their face and hearing them talk to you, not the other way around? It about makes me want to cry when I think about it too long.

Today, when I left, I heard a loud and powerful across-the-gym “BYE MISS LEE!!!” come the entire volleyball team. All because I stayed. Because I stayed even though I was tired. Because I stayed when I thought they may not even notice I had been there. Because I stayed and it mattered to them.

When you stay, when you show up, when you do your best to make love an action like you already know it is, they love you right back. And sometimes, they just might love you right back loudly and in unison.

And because my laptop is about to die and my cookies are getting cold, I will stop right there.

Who are you staying for these days? What are you learning as you do?

-Mel

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6 thoughts on “When you stay

  1. This is beautiful. And so absolutely true! I’ve recently been having this internal struggle of knowing I have a plethora of material to teach these kids in such a short amount of time, but know in my core that kids don’t care how much I know until I show them how much I care. I’m so glad you stayed. Thanks for the encouragement! I’ll be doing some “staying” this week for sure! (:

    • Thank you Tiffany! It’s a constant struggle to find balance in that for me too…but I am learning that our job is to love them first and make sure they know it! The rest will come. I am so glad I stayed as well. Good luck with the rest of your week! I know your kids love you!

  2. I remember the teachers that stayed for or came to the events after school hours because those are the teachers I remember. It was obvious they cared and supported us above and beyond the call of duty. What an epiphany so very early into your teaching career-way to go! Actually a pretty good lesson for all of us.

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