At the end of a long school year, so many of us teachers are walking around like zombies (or banshees!) in the hallways and in the classroom. I’m often feeling mindless at the end of the day, in sore need of a working brain. We may have to stop ourselves from taking out that tiredness with griping at our students.
We can always reconcile that temptation within ourselves, with “it’s just the end of the year” and “the summer is so close!”.
But you have to ask yourself if you really want to live this way, even briefly, with weeks sailing by and some of our years unhappy, feeling overwhelmed and exhausted?
Do you want that?
I remember when I received my first car when I was sixteen. It was used and not in such good shape but I loved it nonetheless. It was all mine! Much like when I received my first classroom!
A couple years went by and my car began to have problems—and that excitement over my “new” (to me) car began to wane. But that didn’t mean I didn’t love driving or the freedom it brought. I just needed a newcar.
Much like that used car I inherited, the old way of doing things worked for a while in my first classroom. Those old ways I had inherited from teachers working in a system that was completely different than mine today. I knew after a few years I needed a new way of doing things in the modern classroom.
It’s time for a check in with your gut to decide if it’s time for that new car, that new way of being in your classroom.
Here’s how you know it’s time for that change:
- Your Enthusiasm is Real (but not Real Right Now).At the beginning of the school year you were excited and enthusiastic about the upcoming school year. You knew you made mistakes in the previous year, but by damn, you were ready to face the challenges head on with fresh ideas.Now, not so much.
- The Love is Real but Your Heart Feels Frosty.You love children. There’s no doubt in your soul about that. Even when you’re having a bad day, a smile from one of your students brings you back.I remember the sad day when my cat died. One of my students knew I was upset so she made me a card and gave me her only Jolly Rancher candy. That’s the Love of Children.If you feel that right now though it’s harder to reach your heart with all the overwhelm, you might need to make some changes.
- The Joy is Real but You’re Not You. Teaching brings you joy, from the school supplies in the fall, the smell of pencils in the morning, or planning for a creative lesson any time. When you’re well rested and have time, you enjoy teaching. Even when you’re dog-tired, you go to sleep feeling fulfilled.If that same joy feels like it’s only present at recess and weekends, you might need a change.
If you know in your gut that your enthusiasm for teaching, love of children, and the joy of teaching is real within you, then you’re meant to be a teacher. You’ve just run down your battery at the end of the year.
If that’s you, it’s time to face the reality: you need to be ready to do something different for next year. You need a new car.
Summer is perfect for making changes. Let’s trade our old way of doing things for fresh ideas, strategies, and plenty of inspiration.
In the next few weeks, be on the lookout for ideas and inspiration to find out how you can make the changes you need for the beautiful new car you deserve!