When we have one of THOSE DAYS (or weeks), it's easy slide into negative thinking. Let's face it, we all have thought about leaving teaching at one time or another. Teaching is HARD. No one tells you how hard it is. Not really. They can try, but when we are just starting out we are going to change the world. We have no ears for the warnings. But...
Don't get me wrong, There is a lot of joy and intrinsic reward in teaching. But when we are having a tough day, week or even year, it's easy to forget our WHY. Why do we teach? Why did we choose this profession in the first place? Why do we keep on choosing it every day?
When we lose our why, we lose our way. Are you lost?
So if you have only today as a teacher, what will you do with it? Here's the deal. We get so overwhelmed and bogged down in the long-term goals, the standards, feeling inadequate and whatever other pressures we get from our administrators that we lose sight of one of the most important things - today.
What will you do today to move your students forward? Do that every day this week. Then, take 30 minutes this weekend to write down all of the reasons you love teaching. What is good about it? What compels you to do this hard thing every day? Then compile those things, those reasons, into one sentence that answers this question. Why do I teach?
I can just hear you saying... That's great and all, Lisa, but it's still hard, and I'm still worn out. I know. Hang with me here.
Next, write down what is bogging you down every day. What is stealing your joy and your energy every day in your teaching? Write it all down.
Now, is there a theme or just lots of things? Choose the one thing or reoccuring theme that would make a huge difference in your daily teaching if you could fix it. Dis-orgaization? Classroom management? Stress about meeting standards? Time? Time to catch kids up? Time to grade? Time to plan? Time to just teach without interruptions? Struggles with teaching something in particular? What is it that would be a game changer for you?
Nothing should stop you from loving teaching. You deserve that kind of joy and your students deserve that kind of teacher. So let's begin to fix it.
Download your (free) guide here.
Join the private Facebook group here so we can support each other.
On the guide, write the one thing that you are choosing to work on fixing. Write the date you will start implementing your plan. This is a commitment to yourself. Let's face it. If it's not on the calendar, it won't happen. (You know I'm right.) So make that commitment to yourself.
Now, we can't put a date on when it will be fixed because we just don't know. But, we can track our progress and celebrate it. There is a progress tracker at the bottom of the guide. You are going to check off each day that you do something to move forward toward your goal.
Write down the steps you think you need to take to get to your goal. What steps will give you forward motion? Put down big stuff, little stuff, whatever comes to mind.
Great. Next step. Let's break it up. Choose a larger goal, and then action steps you can take to make that happen. I have a guide and a full example from my teaching. Grab it here.
Perfect. Now schedule it (so you can quit worrying about tomorrow) and get busy.
Each day remind yourself... I only have today. There are no promises about tomorrow. Focus on making today the best day you can.
We need that special something that only you can provide your students and share with the rest of us. You matter. Your teaching matters. And remember to join the Facebook group so we can regularly remind you that you are not alone. We all struggle.