Often teachers will give and give to a point where it becomes unhealthy, taking us away from our own families or our personal lives. As lifelong learners, we make a second career of attending conferences and workshops, or reading and participating in professional learning outside of our work day. This tendency to overcommit ourselves can be exploited by schools and districts under pressure to perform and reach ever higher achievement with fewer resources.
Even now, when I think about my journey to leadership my eyes tear up because it was not an easy road. I had to face my fears, take rejection, and push myself to do and learn more. I learned to go for my dreams, accept failure and refuse to accept "No."
We live in interesting times. As our global society struggles to navigate problems brought about by fear and misunderstanding of those who are different, we have unprecedented access to tools that make connecting and learning with others easier than ever before.
Around the nation students of color and low-income students are underrepresented in accelerated courses; this is a long-term driver and consequence of societal inequality.
Teachers are classroom leaders responsible for engineering a calm, safe learning environment. Whether class norms are teacher-driven or student-generated, it is the teacher's responsibility to articulate, model, and reinforce the standards for acceptable behavior in the classroom.
It is so important for schools who want to retain talent to think critically about the needs of their novice teachers - they must think beyond new teacher training at the beginning of the year. As we approach the first extended break, why not initiate a check-in with new teachers that can provide exactly what they need (but likely won't ask for)?
Thankitude is different from mere gratitude. A thankitude is an attitude of giving thanks. It is marked by actively paying attention to, and intentionally expressing thanks for, what matters most to you.
Teachers are inundated with so much data that really does not matter; your feedback as a leaders should not be a part of it. Great feedback is honest feedback. When I have dispensed with pretense and just told it straight, I have gotten more return on investment than any other type of conversation.
When writing about your experience, it's OK to be vulnerable. In fact, being honest about what your day feels like, what you see and feel in your work, will often make a piece more interesting, more relatable, and ultimately more powerful.
I'm suggesting we practice mindfulness when approaching our work: consider our intentions when beginning a lesson, speak to a student who is struggling behaviorally, or reflect on our practice. There is an undeniable connection between a teacher's attitude and a student's experience.