Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Teacher Challenge - Just Sit Back and Enjoy...

...your students!

How often do you do it?  Be honest.  How often do you sit back and just enjoy those tiny people?

It seems that these days it's all about the urgency of things.  Teach with urgency.  Make every second count.  Rigor, rigor, rigor.

That's all fine and well - but what I want to challenge you to do is slow it down every now and then.  Set the urgency aside, ignore the data, stop taking notes and just sit back, watch the magic happening in your room, and just chat with your kiddos as they work and forget about the teaching point.

I hope you aren't taking what I'm saying the wrong way - I hope you don't think I'm discounting how important those aspects of our teaching are - because...they are important.

So, is enjoying your students as people.

If you don't enjoy them - they won't enjoy you or their learning.

So put down your pencil and your notebook.  


Laugh and love your students and your time together.

You might be surprised how much you learn about those little beings in your classroom - that you would have never noticed amidst the fervor...

So, grab a stool, lay on the floor - next to your students and bask in the the warmth of a day well spent - together, learning, smiling, ENJOYING your time together...

In that space...

...your classroom.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Perfect Teacher, Perfect Mom!

I had a friend email me the other day who was "bitten by the teaching bug" and is coming back into teaching after staying home with her own kiddos.  She's worried.  She's not sure how she's going to balance it all.  She's losing sleep over wanting to be everything to everyone...


Stop worrying, stop wondering, because I'm here to say...

You won't be everything to everyone...but you will find balance!

But wait, balance maybe isn't what you think it is - what so many people might believe it to be... 

Balance isn't doing it all.

Being the perfect teacher & perfect mom is what you make it.  If you expect to rise to the expectations that social media has perpetuated than you won't be happy in either role.  

If you set priorities that match who YOU are - you'll be surprised at how good you can feel about yourself and the job you're doing in each role that you may play...teacher, mother, wife, friend.

You need to also realize that your priorities ebb and flow they shift as the days go by.

Some days you are going to have to put school first.  Not all days. Just some days.  Report cards, planning that perfect lesson, worry about your struggling sweetheart will be in the forefront of your thoughts or consume hours of your time.  Don't worry about that because the village you've worked so hard to create for you and your family will support you and your children will be just fine.  You have to know that the stronger your village, the more people you accept into it and allow to help, the better example you are setting.  Not being in your own child's classroom helping out with the winter party, or being room mom, or there at pick-up each day, doesn't make you any less of a mom than the one who is able to be there.  Your own children will learn to reach out and accept other people into their world and will learn resiliency, acceptance & flourish in ways you maybe didn't realize they could - and it will make you smile when that mom comes up to you and says "Oh my word, your little guy is so {fill in the blank: kind, respectful, funny, sweet}" because they will -

Because your village cares!

There will be days that your heart and soul are with your own babies and you'll feel like you're short changing your students.  That's going to happen and it SHOULD happen!

You'll take a day off to help out at your kiddo's school, you'll miss a day to snuggle a sick one, you'll get to work right before the bell rings or leave "early".

That's what makes you the great mother and teacher that you are.  
It's your big heart and your desire to be your best.

You've worked so hard at creating a classroom culture that embraces hard work & kindness.  The parents of the students in your class know how dedicated you are to their children - so when your mind isn't 100 percent in that classroom - you'll see something wonderful happening in spite of that...your kiddos just keep doing their thing in the most magical of ways.  Or maybe they won't...maybe your day {or days - let's be real} will feel a little chaotic.  Oh well...that's a learning opportunity as well  Your students need to learn how to grow from situations that are less than perfect...because, c'mon - isn't that what this post is all about?  Life isn't always neat and tidy.

They WILL learn and WILL love you - no matter what!

So, don't worry!

You're going to drop balls...but you WILL pick each one back up when it's time. 

Balance isn't keeping all of the balls up in the air.
It really is knowing when to let one drop and feeling at peace with it.

You are doing wonderful things...even when you feel like you're not!

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