Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!

Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!
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Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions. ~ Author Unknown

My goal is to reveal one teacher's humble journey of self-reflection, critical analysis, and endless questioning about my craft of teaching and learning alongside my middle school students.

"The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called 'truth'." ~ Dan Rather

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Writing, Laughter, and Fulfillment: The Recipe for a Happy Teacher

I'm happy to say that I have started to share my blog with fellow colleagues, who seem to enjoy it. Yay! A few of them asked me today, "How do you have time to write a blog??!!" I firmly believe that it is SO important to make time for things you love to do every day, and for me, writing is one such activity. Growing up, I always had some sort of journal that I usually named, cherished, hid under my pillow, and often kept locked away in my room. It housed all of my hopes, dreams, fears, and, of course, innocent crushes of the moment. As I got older, I started to document my domestic and international travel experiences. Five years ago when I taught in China, I also kept a blog (Sadly, I lost much of the content).

Why write? Why bother to have a blog? Well, the writing part is easy. For me, it is relaxing, therapeutic, and an excellent way to work out your inner thoughts, ponderings, and sources of daily humor. A blog just makes all of this crazy mumbo-jumbo once housed inside Kay's unpredictable head public for the world to see  -- and hopefully derive insight and joy from. A blog also holds me publicly accountable for continuing to talk about the craft of teaching I adore so much.

When speaking with one beloved colleague of mine this afternoon, we both came to the realization about how important it is for us to have creative outlets of expression, just as it is for our students. A highly innovative, creative, and joyous teacher, this colleague also loves to write and has been known to email "travel blogs" home to family and friends when in the Big Apple and other classic destinations. The simple art of going through the writing process, she believes, is invaluable and makes us honor our own words and thoughts all the more. I could not agree more. Our own attempts at writing about our personal experiences help better connect us to our students' journeys as adolescents trying to mold their own identifies amid the chaos of everyday life. I think this whole process keeps us young AND our souls far more alive, frankly, no matter how old you are.

As I am addicted to email and check my accounts compulsively dozens of times a day, you can imagine how thrilled I was to just receive this gem of a message from the aforementioned colleague, who is very much a true inspiration and mentor for me. She writes:

Recipe for a Happy Teacher:
Take 1 well-lit , comfortably warm (or cool) classroom
Fill it with no more than 22  eager- to -learn  students
Add one para or co-educator (for two extra hands, eyes, etc. )
Add "state of the art" equipment
Include the latest texts
Dribble all over with your enthusiasm for your content
Sprinkle with passion for teaching
Locate and then add  about 10 other talented co-patriots and ask them to be on your team
Chop up and discard meaningless testing
Shake thoroughly and pore into a school-shaped mold
Let stand 180 days (minus 5 or so snow days)
Free (YOURSELF) from the mold
SERVE with an extra helping of positive attitude
She then added her own love and cited me as a "very fine" teacher. Could I have a better or more clever way to end my long day? I think not! 

And yes, our writing process will never end ... 

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