Be The Shark…Just Keep Swimming


Shark Bite – Daily Mail

Dear Teacher,

Yesterday I mentioned that I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with the many things to do and the lack of time to get them done.  Today is not much different…well, in a way it is worse because a pending “one more thing on my plate” has been served to me so I am balancing yet one more responsibility in my now exhausted arms.  BUT, I did feel that I needed to write today.  I am talking to myself today, but you are welcomed to listen in.  🙂

Sharks are awesome.  Not that it needed to be said, but it is so very true.  Sharks are cool.  I have thought so since I was a kid.  I never really grew out of it.  Then again, who has?  There is a reason that Shark Week has been going strong for all of these years.

I have a renewed love of sharks as this is my second year teaching animals (I am a Science teacher).  Sharks are a fascinating fish, creature of the sea, and inhabitant of our little blue planet.  There are so many types and each group is different from the others.  They cannot be lumped all together and very few assumptions about sharks are true for all of them.  Each shark species has its own interesting characteristics and quirks.

One of these quirks you may or may not know about, and it came to mind today as I was think about how I feel like I have so much to do that I don’t know where or how to start.  Some sharks, especially the bigger predators have to keep swimming to live.  Without movement water does not move through their gills.  Without water in the gills oxygen cannot be taken in.  Without oxygen, respiration stops.  Without respiration, well, RIP Mr. or Mrs. Shark.

Movement is necessary.  Movement is vital.  Movement is non-negotiable.  Movement is life.

If the Great White does not swim, the Great White will die.  Sure, it is the big bad fish of the ocean that can take on almost any challenger (I know, other nerd-types like me, Tiger Sharks are actually the most dangerous predator…just let me keep writing).  Sure the Great White is one of the most feared creatures in the world.  Sure, none can stand (or swim) with it present and not be pretty fearful.  However, even the mighty Great White is powerless without movement.  It has to swim.  Just like Dory, Great White need to “just keep swimming.”

You probably see where I am taking this.  I think Teachers are awesome.  We are the sharks of society.  I don’t mean that in the classical metaphor of “shark” for a person.  I mean that we are a group that is very often misunderstood.  We can’t be pigeon-holed together as one type of teacher.  We are all different.  We are not the same.  We have our own characteristics and quirks.

We are also ferocious.  We, in society, are taking on foes that few people want to fight.  We are fighting illiteracy, poverty, neglect, low-self esteem, triggers that lead students in to gangs, environments that can lead to drugs, and so many other things that a list is impossible.  We are big, bad sharks.  We are like Great Whites in this way.  We are fighters.  We do what few others can.

Yet, we need to remember to keep swimming.  We have to.  It is the only way to stay alive.  We have to move.  We have to keep moving.  We can’t be overwhelmed.  We will drown.  We will die as teachers.  We have to keep moving, swimming, and going.

So, when there are a million things to do, pick the most important, choose a direction, and then get going.  Do something.  Do not stay still.  Move!  Go!  Swim!

You can do this!  You are the shark!  Start swimming today, keep going, and don’t stop.  You’ve got this.  Today is yours.

Just keep swimming!

Swimming Shark

You are awesome!  You are a shark in the lives of your students, in a good way.  You are fighting battles that they cannot fight on their own.  You are also busy, tired, and overwhelmed.  Don’t give up!  You are too amazing to give up!  Just keep swimming and keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

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4 comments on “Be The Shark…Just Keep Swimming

  1. Nick says:

    Nerd moment: Angel shark, nurse shark, wobbegong. Love the metaphor though!

  2. K. says:

    I needed this! Thank you!

  3. Karen says:

    Thank you for this! I was feeling a bit down this morning, you know how it is….Am I reaching any of my students? Do I make any kind of difference? I will take this to heart and “just keep swimming”. (Even if some days I feel like a salmon swimming upstream, instead of a shark)

  4. […] last Friday, I have received more feedback than I ever gotten about the blog.  Goodness No!, Be The Shark, and Superheroes and Alter-Egos have really resounded with teachers.  There have been so many […]

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