We, as teachers, are really, really, REALLY good at one thing…sweating the “small stuff”. It is in our natures. It is who we are. It is a job requirement. There are countless details, issues, and expectations that we juggle and balance ever second of every school day. It is a part of the job, and we know this. We take the “small stuff” seriously! Sometimes, though, all of the little things overwhelm us and fall on us like a land slide…or at least this happens to me.
It has hit me recently, that I need to work against that happening. I need something in place to keep that avalanche from overtaking me. I need a retaining wall to keep my mountain of “small stuff” at bay so that it does not collapse and smother me! And I accidentally found a way to do this…ironically, it involves using the little things to my advantage.
A stone or brick retaining wall can hold back a lot of dirt and sediments. These walls support a hill so that it does not erode and fall apart. The stones or bricks are stacked in a way that retain what ever is behind them…thus the name retaining wall. 🙂 However, one or a couple of bricks/stones do not do the job. It takes a lot to have a wall. Compared to the hill, one brick is small. But an army of bricks can tame that hill and hold it back.
We need a retaining wall to hold back our millions of small things so that we can survive each day, especially when those things are teetering on the brink of falling down on us. How do we do this? We take some of our small things and build that wall that we need. We need to celebrate the “small stuff”!! We need to reflect and find the small things that we have succeeded will and have a mini-party and remember them throughout the day. We need to bind a bunch of these together, see that we are making progress, and use them as motivation to keep chugging away and moving over our mountains of little things.
What can you celebrate today?
- Find something in each of your students, or a difficult handful, that you can look at and see growth…and then tell them that you are proud of them for it.
- Look at your to do list and be happy about the few things that you have gotten to-done.
- Ask a colleague to tell you something that they see in you that is going well, and offer the same feedback to him or her.
- Fix one thing you can fix today, fix it, and then let yourself smile about it.
- Reflect and find one or two things you can be really proud of yourself for right now, and let yourself be proud…don’t let humble yourself out of a celebration.
These are just a few suggestions, can you think of more? Please share if you come up with some cool things that me and other teachers can look to and celebrate so that we can all start building our walls!
I will practice what I preach right now. Let me celebrate some of the “small stuff” about this blog that has happened in the three weeks since I have started:
- There have been almost 8000 views in these three weeks!
- Last Friday, there was almost 1000 views to the blog in one day!
- The Homepage/Archives have been viewed over 1000 times!
- Last Friday’s post, Friday of Awesomeness!, had over 500 views, and most of them were that day!
- There are 41 blog followers and 26 Twitter followers!
- The blog and blog posts have been shared over 100 times!
- One of my Tweets was favorited by @iamkidpresident.
- There is now a Dear Teacher/Love Teacher Facebook Page.
I need to let myself feel good about these achievements! And I need to thank you for making them happen. Thank you, Teacher! You are awesome!
Now, it is your turn! Start celebrating your “small stuff” and build your wall! I know you have a lot to celebrate because you are a great teacher, and you are AWESOME! Keep on teaching, Teacher!
Oh yeah, do not forget to do your homework!
I will close with a video of a science teacher having a personal dance party…watch and enjoy…it is funny and fun even if you don’t teach science!