- The Transparent Teacher - January 6, 2017
- What Happens When the Teacher is the Bully? - November 28, 2016
- If A Rose Can Grow in Concrete, You Can Find A Flower in the Desert - November 21, 2016
- It Ain’t What They Call You. It’s What You Answer To - April 26, 2016
- Imposter Syndrome Among High School Students - April 20, 2016
- How to Survive the Last Semester of the School Year with Your Sanity Intact! - January 12, 2016
- Controversy: Addressing Challenging Topics in Your High School English Class - January 8, 2016
- High School Classroom Management 101: Building Relationships - October 8, 2014
- Doing the Differentiation Dance - June 17, 2014
News Flash: The Winter Break is almost over. Yup. Just like that. We wait, and wait, AND WAIT all of first semester for two unadulterated weeks to experience a WHOLE lot of Netflix and chill only to remember that it was only temporary and we have been kicked to the curb yet again until the next break which is four months away. FOUR. We fold our arms and shed a tear and begin the arduous task of getting back into the swing of things. And it’s hard. And we don’t want to. And we might just throw a full out tantrum replete with fist banging and leg kicking if it weren’t for the fact that we don’t want anyone to think we’ve finally gone completely crazy since most people already think we’re nuts for teaching in the first place. Or maybe it’s just me. And it could be. But, here’s what I know to be true: at some point in the next 5 months, there will come a point when you’re gonna ask yourself, “Why do I do this again?” And that is the precise moment when you’re gonna need a little encouragement, a little motivation, a little reminder why you chose the best profession in the world.
“Teaching is a calling, a vocation that requires constant renewal of mind, heart, and spirit. Teachers come to the profession inspired by a passion to help others learn. They are drawn to education by an ethic of service and a mission to make a difference in the world by contributing to succeeding generations of youth. Good teachers care, and keep finding ways to connect with students. They do not check their hearts at the door.” —Parker J. Palmer
One of the problems with teachers is we have no idea how to be selfish. Now, before you see that word as an insult, let me offer this definition. “Selfish” means “to love oneself first.” Yeah. We’re not very good at that. We put everyone and everything concerning our students before ourselves and it’s not healthy. We must do better people! So, what follows are a few helpful tips to keep you encouraged in the upcoming months, and really, for any time you feel like you’re ready to call it quits.
TIP #1 REMEMBER: “When all else fails, surviving the last semester of school requires us to tap into something deeper, focusing more on what’s within is and less on the chaos that surrounds us.” CSH
Charge #1: Remember why you’re here.
Radical Thought #1: You didn’t choose teaching. It chose you
TIP #2 REFLECT: “In order to get chosen, there had to be something in you already that identified you as worth choosing.” CSH
Charge #2: Reflect on those people, experiences (both good and bad)
that inspired you to become a teacher.
TIP #3 RESIST: “The urge to do it all may be strong but remember you are only one.” CSH
“Everywhere I’m turning
Nothing seems complete
I stand up and I’m searching
For the better part of me
I hang my head from sorrow
State of humanity
I wear it on my shoulders
Gotta find the strength in me
‘Cause I am a Superwoman Yes I am, (yes she is)
Still when I’m a mess, I still put on a vest
With an S on my chest Oh yes,
I’m a Superwoman
Alicia Keys “Superwoman
Charge #3: Resist the urge to do it all.
Radical Thought #2: Unlike Alicia Keys, you are not Superwoman or Superman for that matter
TIP #4 REACH OUT: You are not an island, no matter what it feels like.
Charge #4: Reach out when you need help (The Educator’s Room is great place to do that!)
Radical Thought #3 Radical Thought #3: Even Superwoman and Superman had help.
(For those of you who do not ascribe to Radical Thought #2)
TIP #5 REALIZE: “Even in the midst of the dishevelment that is my life, I teach because it is what I was purposed to do. Not because it’s glamorous or profitable but because I know in my heart this is who I was created to be. Will I save every child? No. Will I try? Yes. ” –CSH
Charge #5: Realize you won’t be able to save all of them…no matter how hard you try
Radical Thought #4: Sowing and watering seeds are just as important as harvesting the crop.
TIP #6 RECONNECT: “A television not plugged into its source won’t work. The same goes for a teacher.”
Charge #6: Reconnect with those people and activities that make you whole.
TIP #7 RESTART: “Sometimes you just have to start from scratch.”
Charge #7: If something’s not working, start over.
Radical Thought #5: Restarting isn’t a sign of failure, weakness, or inadequacy. It’s a sign of intelligence.
TIP #8 RELAX AND RECHARGE: No explanation needed…
Charge #8: Taking a day off is not a sin.
In fact, it might just keep you from committing one.
Radical Thought #6: The world will not end if you are not here for a day. It might if you never come back.
And just in case you need just a little more encouragement, watching Taylor Mali’s What Teachers Make always works for me. Here’s to a great semester!