Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Are You a Great Teacher?

What kind of teacher would you say you are?  A great one?  Dynamic?  Getting there?  A work in progress?  All of the above?

I talk to so many educators and many of them are self deprecating by nature.  You know, you compliment them on something they did, an idea they shared and they can be so quick to point out the error of their ways.  

Are teachers just humble to a fault or do they truly believe to their core that they aren't really as good at this gig as they want to be, or aren't rockin' it out like their teacher-neighbor, or that blogger that really seems to know their stuff?

Do you know the saying... "Comparison is the thief of joy?"

You see that teacher that you think is "highly effective" or "innovating" and you think...

"Gosh, I'm not doing enough."

I have a lot of teachers in my life.  My husband is a teacher.  Many of my dearest friends are teachers. I engage in a lot of teacher conversations.  A LOT.  

Like so many of you, teaching is more than a profession; it's a hobby.

Mostly, the conversations I have are enlightening, fun, interesting and motivating...

But sometimes they can be disheartening.  I've heard teachers say they would never encourage another person to go into this field.  While, I understand that - because I do, I urge them to dig really deep inside and remember WHY they chose this profession. It wasn't for the kudos and accolades it was because they love children and want to help them move the mountains in their lives.

Another comment I hear SO often is that more and more they end their days not feeling like they did enough and this feeling has become more and more overwhelming.  

Whether you're a teacher or not, I'm sure we can all appreciate that to-do list that goes on for weeks.  A day will end and you'll find yourself thinking there are never enough hours.  Right?  
We can all relate.  

Real talk here...

I think it's not so much the physical things that are weighing some teachers down - like cleaning your desk, filing papers, grading work - I think it's the heavy feeling of ending each day and thinking you didn't reach enough students.  Not that this is anything new - I mean, we've always felt like we could DO more...but the shift is that we may end our days feeling like we DIDN'T DO ENOUGH for our students.  That's different - do you see that?  That effects your mindset.

Years ago, I might end my days thinking, "Man, that science lesson was so awesome it went long and I didn't have time to do social studies.  Oh well, I'll get to that tomorrow."  To me, that was a good thing - I went with the teachable moment.  Now, it seems that if we don't get to every lesson we're harder on ourselves - like somehow we've shortchanged our students and need to work harder to 
"do it all." 

I urge you to flip your thinking.

You ARE doing the best that you can.  It still is about the teachable moment.  You may not get to everything and that means you are a fantastic teacher.

No teacher does it all, all of the time.
{even bloggers}

Be forgiving of yourself and know that while it's important to hone your craft and look for ways to fit more in and maximize your time...

It's also important to realize you are awesome. Don't compare and if you do use it to your benefit - to motivate and inspire you to move your own mountains.

Are you a great teacher?



  1. PREACH, friend.

    Can I also add that while I love me some Pinterest, it's helped the tides turn this way. We now feel like we're "competing" with each other to have the best decor, lesson, etc. It makes me sad.

    1. I agree, Tessa - we just have to keep in mind that these are all part of people's highlight reels, right?!??


  2. Great post! We don't need to compare ourselves to others. I know I'm guilty of it! We also need to celebrate the days things go well! Thanks for sharing!

  3. LOVE this post! Thank you for sharing!!

  4. Thank you for the reminder that mindset makes a huge difference in this profession! I love the quote by Teddy Roosevelt, too! Just what I needed to hear this morning. ~Tatum

  5. I also think teachers think they aren't doing enough or being enough because the media tells us that every single day. It's like being in an abuse relationship--if you are told it often enough, you will eventually begin to believe it. We are constantly told we aren't good enough, aren't doing enough and THEN we see that fabulous teacher who seems to be doing it all.

  6. That's why I'm loving all the "real talk" that's going around blogs, Periscope and other social media. It seems people are becoming more open about the fact that they aren't doing it all and they struggle with finding balance. We're all just doing the best that we can, right?

  7. Love this post!!! Thank you for saying what we needed to hear!! You are awesome!! ❤️

  8. What an uplifting post. It's hard not to great wrapped up in what everyone else is doing, but it's so important to see all the great ways you're a awesome teacher too. Thanks for sharing.
    @ Wiley Teaching

    1. I'm so glad it was uplifting! Thanks for reading!!!

  9. What a great post, Holly! And I stumbled upon it at the perfect time... It is so easy to doubt what we are doing. Thanks for the pep talk!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

    1. Awww, Miss Kim, I miss you!!!! Love ya!!

  10. Great post and VERY true. These days it seems that we can never live up to the expectations...the world's or our own! My mantra lately has been "I am enough." "Enough" is all we can hope to be. Thanks for the reminder. <3

    1. Oh sweet Kathy - you are MORE than enough!


  11. Teachers do struggle with wanting to be perfectionist and taking compliments. This was a great post to remind me that I am ok.

  12. This is such an important message! I have found that it has literally changed my teacher life at school to find my little group of teachers that are POSITIVE and ENCOURAGING...toward me AND toward themselves! It is so easy to compete and compare, even when we don't mean to. We are priceless to each of the little hearts and minds in our classrooms....just like they are priceless to us!! Thanks for this awesomely encouraging reminder, girl!

    ABCs and Polkadots

    1. Finding your #teachertribe can be such a blessing, right?

  13. Thank you for this post! There are so many people that give teachers a hard time for not doing it all, but they don't realize that we are doing the best we can! I am guilty of feeling like I haven't done enough, but posts like yours make me rethink my attitude and look forward to another week of trying to be the best teacher I can for my students! Thank you!!!
    The Teacher's Purple Crate


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