To the teacher who regrets not attending an extracurricular event after school this year, let it go.
To the teacher who regrets not teaching a little bit outside of their comfort zone this year, let it go.
To the teacher who regrets not building better relationships with their co-workers, let it go.
Just, let it go. There you go, I said it…
Let. It. Go.
As my last couple of days in the school year come to a close, I cannot help but feel some regret. Perhaps I should have put a little more effort into helping my students? I should have made that parent phone call home a little earlier? How couldn’t I have noticed my student was struggling with life…outside of school?
I should have done something. I could have done better. All I need is one more chance, and I will do better.
The teacher regret, the guilt, it is the real deal. Educators all feel it. We all experience those sleepless nights, worrying about that lesson that felt like an epic fail. We all replay how we handle classroom management–is my seating arrangement right to increase student achievement?. We all feel it. But, why?
We, educators, that carry that guilt and regret, also carry the passion needed to impact lives. Our passion is seen through our smiles and heard through our voices. Our passion outweighs everything. It is our passion that overcomes us, good or bad.
Yet here is the thing– when that door closes, the past is the past. There is nothing more we can do. Can we reflect? Yes. Can we handle it a different way the next time? Sure. By all means, I’m not saying make the same mistake twice. What I am saying is to reflect, learn from the experience. Let our passions guide us to a better tomorrow because tomorrow could be that chance to make things right.
So if you have a regret, it is okay to feel the guilt. You are not alone. If you have regret, though, it is not okay to stay stuck, stagnant in the guilt. It is time to move forward.
It is time to close that door, breathe, and just let that regret go.