I mentioned that I love to roller skate. I don’t even remember telling my students that about myself. Teaching is demanding and the parts that I don’t enjoy: “paperwork/grading,” meetings, and (now) wearing a mask while talking all day and handling parent frustrations with online work…are growing.
We just went on break. I intend to refresh. Reflect. Re-energize. I love my job. I have the rest of the year to be better.
Every time I come home and walk through my door, my pitbull-mix dog Opal runs to greet me. She has done this every time I’ve walked in the door since I adopted her on February 16, 2013. Every. single. time. She loves me, this is true, but she also does not tire of routine or sameness. She doesn’t get jaded or bummed out because she’s been missing me all day.
I walked into a bank today and the young man who greeted me was very enthusiastic about everything: greeting me, asking me if I needed help, guiding me to my appointment, and then going on to greet others. I later learned that he just started working at the bank. Do you remember being new at your job? I do. I loved everything about my day. Nothing could get me down. Everything excited me.
Buddhists have a saying: “Happiness is a choice, not a result.”
Sometimes our most important challenge is to keep life new and choose to not be jaded by things.
I started to lose my way when I learned that our school superintendent did something (it has not been revealed to the public) and will be fired and be paid out several hundreds of thousands of dollars. We just passed a tax hike for education. I’ve been pretty down about it, thinking that certainly, the next expenditure for education will not pass because of this. I got angry thinking about all those tax dollars going to this one woman and not to the thousands of students in our district. But I can’t worry about that. I need to choose to be happy because I have students in front of me now.
I am more productive when I’m happy than when I’m frustrated/disappointed/sad/angry.
I asked my 12-year-old niece, “Who is your favorite teacher?” Although math comes most easily to her, she didn’t hesitate to tell me her English teacher is her favorite instructor of all time, because “She is so enthusiastic about everything! She loves to act stories out.”
“Public School Teacher Attrition and Mobility in the First Five Years,” found that 10 percent of new teachers in 2007-08 didn’t return the following year, increasing cumulatively to 12 percent in year three, 15 percent in year four and 17 percent in the fifth year. The totals include teachers who were let go and subsequently didn’t find a job teaching in another district.
“Two important findings support what NEA has advocated for a long time. That high-quality mentors and competitive salaries make a difference in keeping teachers,” said Segun Eubanks, director for Teacher Quality at the National Education Association.
I’m in the middle of the National Board of Certification process and one requirement is to take two 15-minute videos of myself teaching and to analyze them. In order to do this, I must view the videos. Repeatedly.
I do not like to hear myself – alone see myself – on screen.
At last, I did it. And you know what? It wasn’t terrible.
So, today, I encourage you to “just do it.” If it needs to be done, but you dread it, know that it’s OK.
If you need a more aggressive motivational message, watch Shia below:
I’m a teacher and I’m usually loathe to listen to any non-teacher who criticizes education. However, Seth Godin is a teacher in his own right and what he has to say makes perfect sense.
Godin published an education manifesto and I think everyone should read it. It’s made a deep impression on me and I’ve made immediate changes to my teaching. Rote memory is ridiculous. Deducting points off for trivial things is dumb. Let’s teach students how to learn and then CREATE things and take ACTION!
I’m in a room of about 100 teachers from all over Arizona. I feel blessed to be here. We’re all pursuing National Board Certification. Sure, we get a (small) financial award, but the biggest reason that we’ve shown up is that each of us will deepen our teaching practice and bring more to each of our 30 – 180 students each day.
The great majority of teachers are exceptional people.
And then there are these bigots (who ought to lose their jobs):
13% of their student body is Latin-American. Idaho needs to do better for the children.