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

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's the MOST wonderful time of the year!

I have 8 days of teaching left until winter break. At least I'm not as bad as some teachers, who can tell you the exact number of days remaining in the school year. I have one colleague that began posting this number on day 2 this year. Sad and unnecessary? I think so!

I prefer the approach of having a positive mindset and taking one day at a time. With my students, especially the needier ones, I find it best to start each day new and fresh, putting aside prior behavior issues and giving each child the full benefit of the doubt. Inevitably, students start to get a bit crazier and act a bit nuttier this time of the year. Whether it's due to the first light snowfall we had last Friday, a ridiculous number of tests and quizzes as the marking period progresses, colder and more depressing weather, the holidays approaching, or financial stress at home, my students are STRESSED -- and it doesn't help that the teachers share in this sentiment either.

How can we stay sane, healthy, and happy during this chaotic time of year, you ask? Above all, we need to take time for OURSELVES. All too often, as teachers, we put ourselves LAST on our daily list of priorities, trying to take care of everyone else before ourselves. Ultimately, this exhausting and unrealistic strategy backfires over time and leaves us sick, burnt out, and at our wits end. There has to be a better way.

I know I annoy many colleagues and students in my building because I always seem to be happy. Rather than apologize for this (as I used to do as a younger and more naive teacher), I have made this a signature quality of my personality and teaching style that has made it all the more easy to get along with and connect to adults and students alike in my building. A smile, positive attitude, and calm demeanor go a long way to helping others -- and are even contagious at times. At a time where much of my school is consumed by negativity and all that is going wrong, I refuse to participate and get myself dragged down in the mud. After all, becoming another "Negative Nelly" in the building will only add to the pessimism, toxicity, and distrust that is already too omnipresent.

My best advice to you this crazy holiday season? Give thanks for all that is going right in your world (even if that list is not as long as you may like), stay positive, take one day at a time, and learn to laugh at yourself -- and ridiculous situations out of your control -- each day. I used to take myself FAR too seriously, and it made me nasty, competitive, and irritable. No thanks; not anymore.

Aim to be a welcoming, positive person whom can spread joy, cheer, humor, silliness, and happiness to others this Christmas season, rather than the Grinch everyone wants to avoid. It all comes down to taking care of yourself FIRST so you have the sound mind, body, and ability to attend to the needs of others, especially your students.

Merry Christmas!! :)

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