Grit. Wisdom. Grace. Teachers inspire me every day with their love, hard work, and passion. Over the years as a mentor teacher and instructional coach, I’ve discovered some extraordinary teachers. But now that I’m back in the classroom, I am even more impressed by a new breed in our field: the Badass Teacher.
Have you noticed them, too? The Badass Teachers (BATs) seek not only to teach, love, and inspire. They also strive to live a balanced, enjoyable life the ENTIRE year. They don’t live for their summers.
Here’s how you spot a BAT: Look past those who have been named “teacher of the year” maybe due to their 60-hour workweeks, or who subscribe to the “teach like your hair is on fire” philosophy. Those “give everything you’ve got” teachers? No.
The B.A.T. loves and teaches with passion, no doubt. However (and this is where the badassery kicks in), he or she also enjoys time outside of school, spends time with her family, all creating a life fulfilling and lived. And because of that external-to-the-classroom quality of life, the B.A.T. is fully present with her kids, able to be completely engaged and rested and patient and kind.
I’m going to provide you with a Top 5 glimpse at some BATs. Look at their stories. You’ll find ways you can think outside your box to find your right path.
Jose Vilson. All I can say is wow. Vilson used his love for technology and writing to create the ideal job. Jose Vilson is an inner city middle school math teacher in New York City. He’s also an activist, writer, father, and web designer. He co-authored the book Teaching 2030: What We Must Do For Our Students and Public Schools … Now and In The Future with Dr. Barnett Berry and 11 other accomplished teachers, and profiled in two other books: Teacherpreneurs (2013) and Teaching with Heart (2014). Vilson is able to combine passion with purpose in a very authentic way.
- Michael Linsin. Michael Linsin is the founder of Smart Classroom Management, the top classroom management blog on the web with over 100,000 subscribers.He has taught every grade level from kindergarten through high school for the past 26 years, and is the author of five books, including the newly released The Happy Teacher Habits. The Badass aspect of Michael is that he negotiated himself into a role teaching only part-time, so he can enjoy writing, coaching, and “hanging out with his wife (also a teacher) and two dogs and shooting a traditional English longbow.”
- Melanie Ralbusky, Schoolgirl Style. Melanie was inspired to use her creativity to inspire teachers everywhere to design beautiful classrooms for their children. She knew that teachers had an overwhelming amount of work on their plate every year, and creating a warm and inviting environment for students could be a daunting task. So she shares her own gifts with teachers by designing her own coordinated décor, and staging model classrooms on her website. Schoolgirl Style was born from her endeavors. Melanie is still a classroom teacher and enjoys “going for long drives with a Diet Coke by her side, ‘thinking time,’ walking, and sleeping in.”
- Deanna Jump. Deanna Jump began sharing her classroom materials on Teachers Pay Teachers in 2009. By 2012, she was the first TpT’er to earn a million dollars in sales. How did she do it? With a lot of work on the front end! She would spend 40 to 50 hours developing just one lesson. Maybe the biggest surprise about Deanna is that she is still in the classroom! She has all the money she needs, travels, creates, and still teaches. That’s one Badass Teacher.
- You. Because you’re reading this right now, I know you’re a Badass Teacher. You’ve taken the time to begin the process of transformation through searching reading and discovering what’s right for you.
If you haven’t started on the path and this is the first Being Teacher post you’ve read, get started right now by reading these 3 essential posts to becoming a B.A.T. and explore the About page to see how I’m growing into a Badass Teacher everyday.
Grow into your calling! You’re becoming a Badass Teacher too, one step at a time.