Sunday, November 29, 2015

Why I Won't Quit Teaching and You Won't Either

It's all the buzz - it's gone viral more times than I can count.  You know what I'm talking about.  The "Why I Quit Teaching" videos, public letters, blog posts.  Honestly, I absolutely, 100%, without blinking, understand where these people are coming from.

I really do.

I'm in complete support of somebody who needs to make life changes.  If something in your world is dragging you down to the the point where it's impacting your health and well being - I stand behind you doing something - anything - to better your situation.

If quitting is "that thing", I'm behind you.  Do it.  If that's what will make you happy.  Just make sure it's what YOU really want and not what some legislator has made you THINK you want.

Me, on the other hand,  I just can't do it. Quit.  Oh, I've wanted to, more times than a person could keep track of.  I've said to my husband a 1,000 times over "I just can't do it anymore", "I can't take the stress", "The pressure is more than I can bear", "I can't end each day feeling like I didn't do enough, that I wasn't enough".  

Then I remember that old oak.

I am strong - so I look for that strength.

I find it and I say "You won't quit". 

I won't quit and maybe you won't either.

You're going to feel like quitting.  I know you will because the added pressures of this job make us feel like doing it.

Here's why we won't...

1.  We were put on this earth to teach.  

I really believe that.  I think teaching is a calling.  Don't let anybody or anything rob you of that.

2.  Teaching is more than just something you wake up each day and go do - it's something you feel in your heart of hearts - it's IN you...deep rooted like an old oak tree.

I really believe that.  C'mon, you're reading this blog on your "free time".  It's deep rooted in you too.

3.  We love it.

I really believe that.  Dig down REAL deep and remember why you went into teaching.  Granted, it wasn't for the test giving and data collection; but if you dig deep enough you'll remember that you love those "a-ha moments", you love making your students laugh.  You just love it. We really do. So, spend time each week just enjoying your kids.  Put down the anecdotal notes, quit collecting data and just enjoy the hum of your classroom and the coolness of your students.

4.  Office supplies.

Yes, I even believe that it can be as simple as that - office supplies are one reason we teachers teach.  Seriously, that pack of new flair pens and Scentos markers don't make YOU smile?  I've loved crayons, shuffling papers, organizing things since I was a little kid.  I bet you can say the same.  Office supplies are another reason I won't quit and you won't either!

5. Making a difference.

I know it sounds like a cliche but it's not, right?  Our world can be so ugly but what we do with our students isn't.  Brush aside the stuff you don't like and allow the beauty of what we proudly do shine through.  We know that we aren't just teaching the ABC's and 123's we're mentoring & motivating. Somebody who might have been on a path to nowhere is now on a path to ANYWHERE...because of US!!!!!

So, if you need to quit I get it. I do, and I would NEVER make you feel horrible for it.  I get that you need to think of yourself and your family.  


If there's even a small part of you that feels like you want to stick with it.  Do.  Please do.  

I am.

Let's stick together and hold onto this calling.

Be an oak.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Fifth Annual Pay it Forward Giveaway

Happy happy and merry merry to each and every one of you!
I started this giveaway five years ago. 
I love it!

To wake up each day, and have what you need to feel safe, taken care of, productive and happy is such an incredible blessing. I don't know if it's getting older that makes me feel this even more strongly - but every year that I do this Pay it Forward Giveaway I find myself feeling so overwhelmingly sad for anybody who struggles in such a way that it makes it hard for them to wake up each day and do what it takes to get through it.  Then, I sit here - in my cozy bed, on my computer and I'm just astonished at those who get by with much less and feel blessed anyway.  Our world and the people in it are just a wonder!

Each year, for the last five years, I've asked that you name a charity that is near and dear to your heart, in the comments below.  If you feel comfortable doing so, I'd like for you to share the reason for choosing this charity.  I think, in sharing your story, you can touch the hearts of so many.  We all walk this earth with a story in our hearts - having to endure the many storms that sometimes breeze by, others come at us like a tornado and still others almost rip us apart like a hurricane.  You just never know who your story will reach and whose life you may change - just by sharing it.  I like for you to do this in the comments with the hope that others may feel moved to share theirs and may also consider paying it forward themselves by choosing a charity to give to. 

This year, I'd like to give 100 dollars in your name or the name of someone special to you, to a charity of your choice.

We've given to several wonderful charities over the years.

Year One:

Year Two:

Year Three:

Year Four:

Thank you so much for entering this giveaway!

 I just can't think of a better giveaway - especially this time of year.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am so happy to tell you that a parent at my school contacted me and asked to match my donation.  That means $200 dollars has been donated to Black Dogs & Company Rescue!

That's what paying it forward is all about...

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