being a teacher, new year, promises

A Promise or Two for the New Year

Every year, I make promises to myself of what the year ahead will look like.  Every year I promise to take better care of myself as I get all consumed by the lives of my students.  I promise to get more sleep, eat healthier, stress less, worry less, and smile, smile smile.

What I do has a profound effect on the students I teach and this year I get to teach the lives of more than 70 students since my teammates and I will be switching the kids up for math and reading.  I know that what I choose to do with myself will be translated into action in the classroom.  So kids, I promise to be there.  I promise to smile and laugh because I just can’t help it.  I promise to be fair.

I promise to take the time to listen to you and not jump to conclusions.  I promise to make you feel safe and welcome.  I promise to not punish and still reward you with time and togetherness when it fits.  To let you speak and not be the sage on the stage.  I promise to learn with you, from you, and not just to you.

I promise to change my mind when it makes sense and to admit when I am wrong.  To get my sleep so that I am not crabby and to feel good about myself.  I promise to care about you and your life outside of school, taking an interest and remembering what you tell me.  I promise to keep learning at school as much as possible because you deserve time off as well.

I promise to give you my time, fully and undivided, and I promise to treat you like my children, because that is what you are 8 hours of the day – mine.  I promise to treat you with respect and dignity and not dismiss you as just another id.  Your voice matters as does your opinion and every year you get wiser.

I make these promises today but know they may be changed, however, my devotion to my job and to my kids will not.  I have the best job in the world and no one can take that from me.  I promise to make this year the best one yet.

being a teacher, common sense, Decisions, promises

I Am Committed

We all struggle with decisions, every day, every minute. Some decisions become easier as we get more set in our ways, language we use, motions we go through, and yet some never lose their unfamiliarity, their newness, their rawness. As a teacher I cannot begin to count how many decisions I make in a day; language choice, assignments, what I bring into my room and what I take out. TO teach does not just mean to guide the learning, I am also there to make decisions.

So I wish for this for the coming week, month, and year; that whatever decisions I make, I make them fully. That once I commit myself to something, I commit the entire me. Not just a tentative part, but the whole thing. That once my thinking is through and outcomes have been weighed that I then trust myself. That I trust myself to know I made the right decision, that I trust myself enough to agree with my choice, and to perhaps even revel in it. Trust myself to fully commit. Give myself the gift of believing that I made the right decision, perhaps then I can give myself a break. Do you need to commit?

assumptions, being a teacher, ideas, promises

It’s Not You, It’s Me – Or Why My Great Idea and Your Great Idea Shouldn’t Date

We’ve all been there, bouncing around at your school or home because you just discovered something absolutely, truly, fantastically wonderful that you just cannot wait to try in your teaching.  It is a marvelous feeling this one, one that makes you want to sing from the rooftops and share the idea with everyone you meet.  And then you do and the person who you indulge it with looks at you blankly.  Silence.  Deflated, you walk away, thinking to yourself that maybe that idea was not so great after all.

But wait it’s not them, it’s you.  Or me in this case.  I am one of those can’t wait to try it and then tell everyone about (mostly on this blog) idea kind of people.  I get so overly excited about something that I am practically bursting at the seams with my newfound wisdom and my poor husband is forced to listen to hours upon hours of blissful teacher talk.  I rave, I rant, I share and then I don’t understand why others don’t see the magic or get as excited to try it as I did.  Take Twitter for example, I don’t think I have convinced a single person to get on it, and yet it is one of the most life-altering educational experiences I have ever had.  But it’s not the “them” that are to fault, it is me.

We all love great ideas.  We all have them and we all share them.  Some great ideas work especially well for us and others just really don’t.  As I grow as an educator, I am beginning to understand more which type of ideas I am really drawn to; student-centered, technology integration, and no grade/homeworks/rewards etc. are things that just rock my world.  Others not so much.  So when other people come up to me and share their great idea, I might be the one with that blank stare that does not show any kind of enthusiasm.  Because to me it just doesn’t sound that exciting, or it goes against something I think I believe in, or I just don’t have the time.

And that’s when I realize, hey it is okay for others NOT to get excited over my great idea.

After all, being a teacher means you get to work with an incredible array of personalities that have one thing in common; they really love kids.  So whichever way, or whichever ideas we use, to get us to change the world one kid at a time, is alright by me.   However, I will promise myself that the next time someone presents their great idea to me, even if it seems a little strange, I will give it a good listen, perhaps even try it, and then decide.  After all, I can only change myself.

being a teacher, believe, inspiration, promises, students

My New Year’s Promises

I promise to be the teacher I say I am.  I promise to laugh louder, scowl less, and wonder more.  To dream, to dance, and to sing as loud as I can.

I promise to inspire you, to be a role model whenever it is humanly possible, and to switch out my swear words.

I promise to read, reflect, and ponder.  I promise to be strong yet kind, unwavering yet changing, and always always questioning.  I promise that I will balance the work, the life, and the love.  I promise to be present, right here, now, listening.  

I promise to ask questions, not judge, and save up compliments.  I promise to not make so many promises that they become another weight to carry.  I promise to be me, warts and all, and to accept you, glorious faults and flaws.

I promise to push myself, to reach for new heights and to believe, believe, believe.

But most importantly, I promise to be the mother my daughter should have, the teacher my students deserve, and the wife that my husband makes me want to be.  What do you promise?