Anyone who has spent a day in a classroom knows that teachers—especially teachers of young kids—are superhuman superheroes. And any parent who has spent a day outside of a classroom trying to wrangle a group of young kids through a field trip would describe teachers in even stronger language than that.
That's what dad blogger Clint Edwards of No Idea What I'm Doing: A Daddy Blog discovered on a recent trip to a pumpkin patch with his daughter's kindergarten class. The father of three and author of a new book, "Silence is a Scary Sound: And Other Stories on Living Through the Terrible Twos and Threes," penned a tribute to teachers everywhere that has gone viral for the hilariously real truth it describes.
I chaperoned a kindergarten class field trip to a pumpkin patch, and let me just say, I haven't had a drink in 16 years, but I wanted a drink today. I wanted one real bad.
Listen: I love my daughter, but other people's kids are a bit much. This trip left me with an incredible respect for people who who work with young children all day. I only had five in my group, and they listened about as good as goldfishes. The whole time I was afraid I'd lose one in the corn field, they'd never be found, and ultimately end up as the premise for a Stephen King novel.
I was only with the children for about four hours, but if I had four hours left to live, I'd have spent them on that field trip, because it felt like an eternity. Between the mud at the pumpkin patch, and the smell on the bus that I couldn't quite identify, but was probably a virus, and that one wild little boy that is either destined to be a ground breaking artist or an inmate, I ended the afternoon with a long hot soak in the bath, TOO many cookies, and a handful of Tylenol.
In contrast, my daughter's teacher successfully orchestrated the children changing their shoes twice: once before getting off the bus, and once before getting back on. This was to prevent the children from getting mud on the bus, but I'm pretty sure if she listed this act on her resume, she'd be as respected as any military general. I mean, wow! No child lost a shoe and she smiled the WHOLE TIME!
I've said this before, but if my life ever depended on my own children finding their shoes, I'd be dead, so for her to pull off this shoe swap with 20 something 5/6 year olds places her on par with Batman.
If you are a teacher reading this, give yourself a huge pat on the back. You are incredible. And if you know a teacher, give them a huge thank you.
And if anyone needs need me, I'll be right back. I'm heading to the store for more cookies, and maybe some ice cream, to keep from having that drink.
Seriously. Superhuman superheroes.
Edwards' post has been shared more than 9,000 times, and he says it's great to see people appreciating teachers for all that they do.
"Listen," he told Upworthy, "teachers are rockstars, and kindergarten teachers deserve hazard pay." He said his wife, Mel, was on deck to go on the field trip, but she threw her back out at the last minute so he filled in. "It was awesome to see my newly minted kindergartener on her own turf and see how her teacher handles her class like a boss," he said.
The energy it takes to handle a class of young kids is no joke. I got my degree in education and worked as a substitute teacher for a while after college. My experience was with middle and high schoolers, but I decided to try subbing in a first grade classroom for a couple of days. Let me tell you—by noon on the first day, I was wiped. I remember sitting at the teacher's desk in a daze while the kids were at lunch, feeling like I was thoroughly unprepared for the relentless needs of 20 six-year-olds.
RELATED: A high school teacher's reaction to a sleeping student has gone viral for all the right reasons.
I need to go potty. Timmy poked me. My tummy hurts. My zipper is stuck. Olivia won't stop talking. I can't tie my shoes. Stop it, Jacob! The needs never stopped. For hours on end, it was one thing after another, and that didn't even include any actual lessons I was trying to teach.
The wee ones are adorable, but they are also so. much. work. I was in my early 20s at the time, full of idealism and energy, but clearly not cut out for early elementary teaching. I genuinely don't know how teachers of young kids do it.
So yeah, Edwards nailed it. Kudos to those blessed souls who teach our children and do so with patience and a smile. They deserve every bit of praise and gratitude we can throw at them.