When I asked people to volunteer to be Substitute Teachers while I am “off the grid,” I had a lot of great responses! I am so grateful and honored by that! Teachers were more than willing to pay forward the encouragement and hope that they have received from people and from this blog. However, something interesting came from the request to for people to share, and it was a response to something that I have done with this blog that I did not think people noticed or cared about, but they did and do (you might, too).
I have made strides to try to keep this as anonymous as possible. Why? I want the message here to be separated from it being just a person trying to encourage other people. I want it to be about teachers encouraging teachers. We are in this together, and it is not about a person or personality. This is one of the reasons I am using Substitute Teachers instead of just setting up a bunch of my own posts to go up while I am away. This is teachers encouraging each other. Teachers looking out and caring for their own!
I say all of this because some of the Substitutes have requested to stay anonymous, like me. Their reasons are the same as mine. I appreciate that, so I am honoring the request. I will only share what I think is important about each…and today’s Sub has one thing I would like you to know about her. She has been teaching for 26 years! I am honored to have such a veteran post here! We can learn so much from those teachers who have been doing this for a long time! I love learning from people who have been doing this for a long time. Read this morning and learn with me. 🙂
“The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving.”
This quote reminded me of some experiences I’ve had in teaching. Often at the end of the year I can be discouraged or disappointed by all of the things that didn’t go as well as I’d have liked, or all the ways that I wasn’t as great a teacher as I’d have liked to have been for my students. We teachers want so much to do awesome things for all of our students, but that task can sometimes be impossible to fully achieve.
Then I remind myself that no one is perfect, and that the important thing is wanting to be awesome and being committed to always getting better, becoming a stronger and more effective teacher. After my first, most difficult year as a teacher, I promised myself that I would always work to get better each year, and that as long as I kept that commitment, I would just have to be accept the fact that I hadn’t been the perfect teacher. As Holmes reminds us, it’s the direction we’re moving that is most important.
One of the best things about teaching is that every year there is a fresh start and a new chance to be even better and more awesome for a new group of students. Summer is a great time for thinking about ways to hone our skills. What great ideas would you like to put in place with your next group of students?
You are awesome, Teacher. You are committed to improving your professional practice, and that’s awesome! High five!
Was this your week last week? I know at my school, behavior seems to decline shortly before summer and teacher stress increases in response. Tomorrow is a new day. Monday lets last week go away and you get to start all over again. That goes for you…and for your students.
Remind yourself of this tomorrow morning. You have a fresh start. Remind your students, too. They have a blank slate week. Inspire them to do more with this week than they did last week.
Be hopeful. Make the students wonder what happened to you over the weekend! Make hope your goal tomorrow. Inspire your students to greatness.
You are awesome! I know this week will be better than last week for you. Go out there and make that true! Keep teaching, Teacher!
I do not know what yesterday was like for you. I can guess that it was probably one of three possiblities, though, because that is usually how it goes as a teacher.
It might have been a great day. Everything you wanted to do worked out. Everythng you touched turned gold, so to speak. Your students did exceptionally well. Every class that you taught was a masterpiece. Your administration thought that you are a jewel and model of an ideal teacher. Things just went well. Those days are few and far between, but they do happen. If it happened for you yesterday, I salute you and celebrate with you!
It may have been a bad day. These days are pretty much the opposite of the golden days. Everything you touch turns to…well, you know. Nothing goes right. The students had the worse behavior day that you can remember. Computers did not work. Your projector went down or blew up. There were no supplies. There were classroom interuptions. Your administration was at your back and heaping more work on you than you can possibly take care of in a day, week, or year. It was an altogether bad day. Unfortunately, we have these days far more than the golden ones. Teaching is hard work and can give us disappointing days. If this was your day yesterday, I feel you and share your fustration.
Then there is the third option: the “blah” day. Some people may call it a normal day. Things went exactly as you expect. There were ups and down, but nothing extreme. You taught well enough. Most students seemed to pay attention, and some even seemed to retain some of the knowledge. You did okay. It was an okay kind of day. Your lesson and strategies were adequate, though you weren’t earning teacher of the year or anything. It was just, well, blah. Mediocre. Common. These are the days that happen more than most for a lot of teachers. If this was your day yesterday, then I understand. I know what they are like. For me, these are the ones that get to me. Too many of these days in a row and life as a teacher can get pretty boring.
I know there are a lot of peaks, valleys, and variations between these three types of days. I simplified a bit, but I think you understand what I am getting at. We all either had a great day, a bad day, or a day somewhere in between. Thus is the life of the teacher. Days like these strung into weeks, weeks bunched into quarters, quarters paired into semesters, and semesters connected into a school year. But, each day is different. Each day is new.
No matter what kind of day you had yesterday, today is a new one. Don’t bank on yesterday’s great day, focus on making today even better. Don’t let yesterday’s bad day set you up for another bad day today. Don’t self-fulfill prophecy! Make today good. Or at least look for the good that is there today even if it turns out to be another bad one. And don’t settle into yesterday’s mediocre. You are better than that, teacher friend. Make today an extreme…great risk brings great reward! Teach like you mean and stop sitting back and letting the year fall away!
You are too awesome to let yesterday determine today. Take the blank page and start writing. Start drawing. Start something. Make today the day you want it to be.
AND…don’t forget your students need to learn to do the same. Help them through the bad yesterdays. Give them a blank page with you today. Help them to learn to make each day better than the last. You don’t know what they are truly going through all of the time, but you can help them learn to work through it and view each day as a new page to write or draw on. You are awesome, help your kid learn to be awesome, too.
You are a great teacher, and don’t you forget it! Keep on teaching, teacher. Make today great! I know that you can. I believe in you!