Today’s message is short…it’s okay to take some time for yourself this weekend…no, correction, it necessary for you to take some time for yourself. You need to decompress from the week. It is vital for your sanity. Don’t feel guilty! You’ve earned “me time” because you rocked hard this week!
Keep on rocking, keep on breathing, and keep on teaching, Teacher!
In lieu of a new message today, I want to share one of my favorite posts. I think I will start doing that on Wednesdays. I think this one is pretty perfect for how a lot of teachers are feeling right now. Remember, you DO have fight left in you and you ARE making a difference! You rock!
The link to the post is below the image. Have a great day, Teacher!
“You are not crazy to keep doing this. Just focus on those lives behind the eyes that are looking at you. You have a purpose.”
Source: Fight Song [for Teachers]
I know the secret.
I have the key to the room where the lock all of the “Best. Day. Evers.”
I want to share it with you, but you will need to prepare yourself for it.
Okay, are you ready?
The secret to the “Best. Day. Ever.” is you.
I know, it is cliche to say that you are the key to having the best day, but it is true.
Attitude is the difference between a great day and a horrible day. It is all wrapped up in perspective. To change your day, you change your perspective. I love the quote below by Maya Angelou…
Easier said than done, right? I know. I know. That is why I came up with some steps to turning any day into a great one:
- Step 1: Face the reality that life is going to be tougher than you prepared for and”the universe” is going to thwart your plans. Cheery, right?
- Step 2: Dream big for each day, but design your day loosely. What I mean by that is that you need to have big ideas for each day of teaching and plan well…but be willing to let go of your designs for the day when life and reality throws you curve balls.
- Step 3: Be flexible, roll with the punches, and enjoy the ride because your goals are bigger than each day. The age-old rule for teachers is to “monitor and adjust,” and that is a great rule! Things are going to go off-course, so it is important that you are not focused on where you are going each day…your destination is where you want to take students by the end of the year. When you look to that, you can adjust to the ups and downs of each day. Stuff is going to blow up in your face…learn to laugh, learn, and move on from it towards your goals with each child.
- Step 4: Reflect at the end of each day and find the momentary masterpieces that you can build on tomorrow. Yes, we do need to learn from what goes wrong each day, but the bigger thing to think about and remember is what went right. There are momentary masterpieces that happen in our class with individual students each and every day. We need to become masters at finding those and using them as a starting point for the next day. This will make you a better teacher above all other things. (For more on this, please read the post linked above.)
I know that the steps are general and simplistic, but they are a good starting point for you to think about you and your situations. You can have the best day ever any day of the week, but it takes work for that to happen more days than not. It is not easy, but it is work that you can do…and it is worth doing if for no other reason than your mental health and sanity.
You are a great and amazing teacher. I have no doubt that you often have best days ever! Do you have any advice to add to this list or stories of bad days turned to great ones? If so, would you mind sharing in the comments? I don’t usually ask for this kind of feedback, but I think this might be a great conversation to have.
Teacher, thank you for all that you do. I really do believe in you. You have a big fan in me! You are so awesome! You are making a big difference in the life of your students. Keep on teaching!
There is something that I really need to get off of my chest. Something I want to say. Something I have to tell you…
You make me so angry!
Seriously, honestly, and unequivocally angry.
Yes. I said it…you make me angry, Teacher.
I am angry that so much of what you do is unacknowledged. I hate that you spend hour after hour and minute after minute thinking about and working with your students, treating them as individuals, and fighting hard to change their futures for the better…and no one seems to notice. But if something is wrong in the world, you are the first one to blame. That makes me so mad!
I am angry with the fact that you give of yourself day in and day out, expecting no thanks, and that is what you usually get…no thanks. You are the one on the front lines with students and you work hard at making a difference. Still, you are often treated with disrespect and as if you are unimportant. This infuriates me!
I am angry with how tired you are every day, but some people think you should work harder. I am upset with how alone you feel when you are giving of yourself for a classroom of young minds every day. I am furious with how useless you feel when you are making such a tremendous affect on the future of our world.
Yes, Teacher, you make me angry.
So, to alleviate these feelings, I have to do what others are not and say something.
YOU ARE AMAZING, TEACHER!
I AM MORE THAN PROUD OF EVERYTHING YOU DO.
I CANNOT CONTAIN THE GRATITUDE THAT I HAVE FOR YOUR SACRIFICES YOU HAVE MADE!
I THANK YOU. I THANK YOU MORE THAN YOU CAN EVER KNOW!
I BELIEVE IN YOU AND WANT YOU TO KNOW HOW MUCH YOU INSPIRE ME.
I know that I am just some random, fellow teacher that you don’t know, but I am rooting for you. You are a great teacher. You are making a difference. You amaze me! Keep going and keep on teaching, Teacher!
You don’t know this about me, but I am just a tad bit obsessed with clouds. Seriously. Clouds are so amazing.
I know we have all had experience when we get lost in the moment looking up at them in wonder…but I have those moments all of the time. All. Of. The. Time.
People that know me often get a chuckle out of finding me standing still, staring up, lost in the clouds (and usually taking pictures of them…thus the background to the blog).
There is just something about them. Something peaceful. Something majestic. Something beautiful.
Little momentary masterpieces laid out in the sky just for me to see.
So…I love looking at clouds. I do it a lot. The struggle is real.
What is my point?
As much as I love looking at clouds, I miss them more than I see them.
That hit me today as I was driving. There was a perfectly blue sky with perfect little puffs all over the place…and I felt nothing.
No sense of wonder. No amazement. No awe.
I had so much on my mind. So much to do. So much work. So much life. So much everything.
No room for clouds.
I was surrounded by sights that I normally find fascinating…but I could not see them. The much of life crowded out the beauty of living.
And isn’t that our life as teachers.
We love teaching. We love the time we get to spend with students. Seeing them learn. Seeing them grow. Seeing them becoming who they are going to be.
And we love the moments. Those AHA moments. Those teachable moments. Those becoming better people moments.
We live for those moments. We can get lost in thinking about those moments.
And yet we miss them all of the time.
We have so much to think about. So much to do. So much work. So much life. So much extra. So much everything.
No room for those momentary masterpieces that happen every day in our classroom.
I am not sure how we get time or mental space for moment-gazing, but I know that I want to prioritize trying to see the moments.
We teach in an endless sky of momentary masterpieces…we just have to remind ourselves to see them!
I don’t have a lot of suggestions on the how, but I think I want to get in the habit of taking mental pictures, much like I do with actual pictures of clouds, and start writing down the moments so I can remember them later.
What do you think? Do you agree that we miss out on moment-watching? Do you have any suggestions on how to watch for them more all the while doing all of the much we have to do?
I know you make those awesome moments everyday because you are an awesome teacher! I know you try to see them, and I hope that you will be able to find the time to see more of them. They are there, I promise! You rock! Keep on teaching, Teacher!
We all have those moments…those moments where we feel lost in the ever shifting tides of education, our school, and our classes. These are the moments when we lose our footing and feel threatened of being washed away to sea.
These moments, for lack of a better word, suck. There is the tendency to feel hopeless. Feel useless. Feel bad.
And this is normal. We all go through it. We are not alone in this. We don’t have to be afraid…
But knowing all of the does not make it any less frightening…terrifying…and horrible.
I have been there. Might be there soon. And will definitely be there again.
I have been teaching long enough to have learned something, though.
There is something you can do in these moments.
Take a deep breath, and jump into the depths.
Hold your head up, face what is coming, and take the beating from the waves.
You may get washed away, but you will wash back up somewhere. Who knows where, but you will survive. You will learn from it. And you will move on.
If it something that you can’t avoid or that you are responsible for (or a mistake made), face it and ride it out. It will hurt. It will sting. It will stink. But you will get through it and you will be stronger for it.
So…DON’T GIVE IN!
Don’t give into the fear.
Don’t give in to the stress.
Don’t give into the anxiety.
You WILL survive.
You WILL learn.
You WILL grow.
You WILL live and be stronger in the end.
I know this does not give much hope, but you know you have the guts and the strength to get through it. You ARE a great teacher, no matter what circumstances might make you feel. You ARE making a difference. And you MOST DEFINITELY ROCK!
Keep on surviving and keep on teaching, Teacher!
So I hate to break the bad news to you, but it is only Tuesday.
I know that the day was long and rough, and it definitely felt like four days and it should be Friday now…but it is not. And you will be okay.
Yes, things did not work out the way you thought they would. Yes, student behavior was reminiscent of the time that the day before winter break was also a full moon. Yes, that one administrator did that one thing that made you feel like the only one that can’t do anything right. Yes, it was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day…and probably would have been even if you were in Australia.
You made it through.
You made it awesome.
Somehow, you never let on how bad a day you were having. Your students did not know that you were on the verge of tears. They felt special. They felt cared for. They felt like they finally are starting to understand concepts that they’ve been struggling with.
You allowed your students to have a good day…even though yours was the opposite.
Teacher, I need you to look yourself in the mirror and know that YOU ARE A GREAT TEACHER!
I know that you don’t feel like it on days like today, however it is nonetheless true. YOU ARE AMAZING!
Ignore the voices in your head right now (or wherever the voices might be), and know that you are making great choices and doing the right things for your students. You are making a difference. You are getting through. You are making things better for them in the long run.
You are important. You matter. You rock! Even on not-so-terrific-days!
Don’t doubt yourself, Teacher. I believe in you! Keep going and keep on teaching!