“Hey, Ms. Vito! Have you graded those essays yet?”
No, I haven’t. I haven’t even thought to print them off because I have 1,000 other things going on at the moment.
I think we all tend to forget that our roles are only a small fraction of who we are. My students only see me as a teacher and nothing else. My entire world revolves around lesson plans, assessments and showing up every day. I don’t have a social life or any other responsibility other than filling their minds with knowledge and grading their mastery of the content.
I wish my world could just revolve around teaching, but we can’t always get what we want.
Can I even blame them though for thinking I am nothing more than their teacher?
I don’t think about my dentist as an avid movie watcher or hipster because he only checks and cleans my teeth. I don’t see my doctor as being a mother or interested in hiking because she only makes sure I am healthy. I don’t think about the mechanics who take care of my car or the drive-thru worker at McDonalds being anyone other than the role they perform.
I can guarantee we are all guilty of it. We are all consumed by what we need or want from someone that we forget that he or she is a lot more than a teacher, dentist, doctor or mechanic. They’re human beings, taking each day one at a time, facing the same joys and hardships as anyone else.
I guess what I am trying to get at is that we need to take a step back and remember that we are more than a job or career, a student or teacher, or father or son. Each of us plays multiple roles throughout the day that impact our lives and who we are. Don’t forget who you are, what you like and dislike, what you think and feel, and what you want and deserve. But with that, don’t forget that those who serve you deserve the same and even more.
At the end of the day, we’re all just trying to get through the day. It wouldn’t hurt that next time to ask how a person is doing rather than asking if they’ve completed what you want from them. You’d be surprised how much it means to them.