I wanted to share some important teacher truths today. After I share my confessions, I promise to stay on topic.
1. I don't like making myself blog. I do a much better job when I am responding to questions, so that's what I'm going to do. Do you have something you'd like me to blog about? Let me know. Help me out. Message me on Instagram, email me, whatever floats your boat.
2. Teaching is hard.
3. The world can feel really negative sometimes.
Alright, now that I've got all of that all out in the open, let's hone in on #2. Teaching is hard. I'm going to go back a few years. My first year teaching I really did NOT like my job. By halfway through the year I was ready to leaving teaching. I didn't feel supported. I didn't know how to manage my classroom. I felt like I was working constantly and it was never enough. I didn't think I could plan engaging lessons because my students were out of control. I was put on a development plan. Obviously this meant I wasn't a good teacher. Just kidding. It just meant that it was my first year and I really didn't know what I was doing. It all felt awful at the time though. I had a few great people in my life reminding me that IT GETS BETTER. This wasn't always easy for me to believe, but it did.
Since then... I've moved schools. I've have worked hard. I asked for help. I figured out how to manage my classroom. I've set boundaries. I've made connections with good people. It HAS gotten better. I've gotten better.
Teaching is a job that can burn you out. College prepares you for all the subject areas and to write about a great classroom management plan, but this job takes a hard worker, a college education, AND real life experience.
This year is fourth year teaching. It really does get better every year. Every year I know my content a little better. I'm a better teammate. I'm better at communicating with parents. I'm better at staying focused.
Here are a few of the things that have helped me:
1. Setting myself boundaries and priorities. I don't let myself work on school things after 5pm. There are always exceptions (hello report card season), but as a general rule it helps a ton. There is always SOMETHING I could do for school, but sometimes I have to give myself grace. Not every lesson is extravagant (this isn't The Greatest Showman), and news flash, you can do anything, but not everything. You're doing a great job and impacting your students every day.
2. I ask my team for help. We're a team and they're amazing. We share ideas, resources we make for our classrooms, and I know I can go to them and vent for a minute if I need to.
3. I surround myself with good people. Have you ever heard that you're most like the 5 people you spend the most time with? There is no time for people that don't have a positive impact on your life. Challenge yourself and expose yourself to the good.
4. Most recently... I am cutting myself off from the news. For me it's easy to get passionate about things. I'm very loyal and sometimes I have a hard time shutting out the criticism. I can read the news sometimes, but I have my person to talk about it with and that's it.
5. I connect with other educators I can learn from. At the end of my first year teaching I created a teacher Instagram. It's been a game changer for me. I'm pretty sure that the very first picture I posted was my end of the year gift to my first class ever- popcorn with cute labels by an amazing TpT author. Since then, wow. I have made some incredible connections and learned so much. I have made some of my closest friends on Instagram. If you would've told me 3 years ago that I would have a business partner I met on Instagram... I would've laughed, but here I am. Find your people. Your school is great, but there is a whole world of people to learn and connect with too.
I have a strong belief that teaching shouldn't be about surviving. It is a job, but it is one of the best jobs in the world. Each and every day teachers are lucky enough to teach the future. We are changing lives, people. If it's been a tough week, month, or year, remember-- IT GETS BETTER. It really does. You've got this, friend.