Great Monday morning to you! I know, there are very few times in the thick of the school year that we view Mondays as necessarily great…we are often being pulled from every angle and feeling like we are ten seconds from being ripped into pieces. Monday only makes it worse because we look forward to the pulling starting over fresh and new. It doesn’t have to be this way!
How do we keep ourselves together when everything wants us to fall apart, especially on a Monday? That is what today and this week’s theme song is all about. The best part is that I get to share one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite artists with you, and you probably have never heard of him or the song. Get ready to be a fan.
Click play and read on (just in case you are new and didn’t know 🙂 ). When you are done, you might want to go back and watch the video. It is pretty cool.
Teacher, you have so much on your plate. You have things that need to get done. You have expectations to meet. You have classroom management issues to deal with. You have parents to call. You have plans to plan and implement. You have profession development to go to and show evidence of using and applying. You have test to write, give, get data from, reflect on, and plan to use to differentiate and raise student achievement. You have books to read, papers to grade, and Common Core to implement.
You have people constantly looking over your shoulder telling you what to do and who to be as a teacher. You have parents who don’t think you are handling their child correctly. You have administration analyzing your every word and move in the classroom. You have curriculum specialists giving commentary on every strategy and technique you use and giving you tips and pointers on how do do things differently. You have ever changing district, state, and federal mandates and standards that are to be followed to the “t” with little variation.
You have a life outside of school. You have pressures from other places. You have family. You have friends. You have a life…at least you try to have one.
You have students. Students who need you to be more than just a implementer of plans. They need you, the person. They need your heart, soul, and mind to help them navigate through the storms of life and education. They need a mentor. They need a teacher. They need you.
Students are why you do what you do. Students are the key to education. Students are the ends and the means. Without them there are no standards, tests, data, professional development, or lesson plans.
Students are the heart of it all. Students are your heart. Students are why you are where you are. Students make you a teacher.
You are pulled and yanked in a thousand directions every day. You feel that weight the most on Sunday nights and Monday mornings. The waves of the life of a teacher are constantly trying to pull you under. The current is strongest at the beginning of the week.
What do you do? How do you combat this? How do you go against the flow that wants to drag you down? How can you make a Monday feel great and something you look forward to seeing?
One word: STUDENTS,
We have to learn to to be brave enough to run into the flames of the fight to let every decision we make be completely centered on our students. We have to train ourselves to let things go for the sake of our students. They need to be the answer to every question that starts with “Why did you…” Students, their hearts, and their minds need to be key. Few people know them like you do, and you need to stand up and say what you think will work best for them.
It is hard, though. It is hard to let go of some of the anxiety and fear of not meeting the expectations of others. Not meeting deadlines. Having to answer those hard “why” questions. I can’t tell you how to do this for you. I can tell you, though, that it is worth it.
I have been teaching long enough to know that expectations, standards, and mandates change. The current of education moves with the latest and greatest ideas and research, but often it is a circular pattern that always comes back to best practices that have been around for a long time. Tap into that and you will see that it always comes back to some of the same themes. Follow those themes and you can keep up with the changes (I will try to write about some of those themes later).
I am not saying to rebel or not follow guidelines and mandates. I am definitely not saying that. I am just saying that you will start to remember why you love being a teacher when the students return to being your focus for all that you do. And if you get off from the expectations set for you, make sure that your answer has something to do with the specific needs of your students. That is what is key and paramount.
Let go of the fear. Let go of the anxiety. Let the students be the reason for all that you do. Make them the goal. Open up your heart and mind to letting them come first. You will start to feel the freedom that comes from that. You will see that everything comes back around.
You may have to answer questions or be “fussed” at from time to time. Don’t let that worry you. One day, when a student comes back and tells you the influence you had on them and how that changed their life, what are you going to remember? Are you going to remember the lecture you were given or are you going to remember why you became a teacher? I think I know the answer.
Let things go and let yourself make choices in your classroom and with your time that come out of love and care for your students. I promise, when you let it go it will come right back to you. You will make it through and be a better teacher for it!
Don’t be afraid to let go!
You are awesome! You are making such a difference in the lives of your students. Keep going. Don’t act out of fear but act out of love and concern for your students. You will never regret it! You are amazing! Keep on teaching, Teacher!
PS…In case you missed the announcement yesterday, I am very excited to announce the Motivational ABCs Poster/Word Wall now available in the Dear Teacher/Love Teacher TeachersPayTeachers Store! Check it out, if you haven’t had the chance! The image above is one of the printable posters in the set.