Have you ever felt like life is moving 10000 miles per minute and you don’t have a chance to just stop, take it all in and reflect? The last few months have kind of felt like that for me.
I feel so grateful for opportunity, learning and all the brilliant things that have been coming out of life lately, but with those things has also come with a lot of hustle and bustle.
This week, I decided to dedicate my blog post to reflection. An element I believe has been so important for my first few moments as a teacher and I think it is going to continue to be important as my passion continues to grow. This blog ‘Surviving Teaching’, has been entirely started for the goal of documenting my successes, struggles, and moments so that I could learn more from myself and hopefully others could as well.
I am going to section this post into 2 parts:
2. Soaking it all in
Section 1: Learning
As teachers, I think one of our largest passions is learning. For most teachers who I have worked with, one of the biggest things that keeps them driven is the desire to continue to learn more and better themselves and their pedagogy along the way. One quote that I absolutely love by Albert Einstein is “when you stop learning, you start dying”, and I believe as teachers this is even more true.
We are inherent life long learners continually striving to be better. I think I even have a greater desire than trying to make myself better, I call it the learning itch.
Picture a large purple rash all over my body that is slowly turning me into the purple people eater that can only be cured by learning more and more… and I have a lifetime case of it. – the learning itch.
I have combated this itch by attending a multitude of conferences and professional development sessions over the last little while which have included the NCTCA teachers convention and the Leader in Me Symposium (which was AMAZING… I will definitely dedicate a whole post to that in the future). But also through personal reading and networking.
I sent my brain on a mission this month to read 3 books which I chose based on recommendation from an author I saw last year. And man… these three reads have set my mind on fire. So far I have read 1.5 of the books and hopefully am on track to finishing by the end of this month, but it has definitely ignited that ‘make yourself better’ bug within me.
I think personal learning is so important as a teacher, not only for your pedagogy but also for your own well being. Continuing to learn and improve yourself as a new teacher is so important. SO many people know SO many incredible things that I feel like I don’t even know a fraction about.
New teachers out there, step one is to get yourself on twitter and follow all those amazing teachers who are posting ideas and reflections themselves, and step two is to get your self reading.
Section 2: Soaking it all in
I think too often we don’t leave enough time to fill our own buckets outside of our teacher world and this week I really made it a priority to soak it all in.
I have written blog posts before about striking that dreaded work life, personal life balance; but sometimes getting a shot in the arm reminder of it is what we need.
In my classroom, I hope that my students learn beyond my classroom and fill their minds with cultures and experiences that I can’t give them in the realm of my four walls. And sometimes it is important to remind yourself to do the same.
I decided to take a weekend trip to the Rocky Mountains (which is really close to where my city is), and although it was just 3 days of a change of scenery… it is sometimes all we need. An outside walk, a cup of tea at a new cafe, a catch up with old friends is another way that we as busy and crazy teachers can take time to soak it all in.
This week, our news was flooded with gut wrenching news of more teachers and students who lost their lives to gun violence.
Moments like this cause everyone to reflect.
As you hear families and friends of loved ones who lost their lives speak about the tragedy they reflect, governments and leaders reflect, communities reflect… but also teachers have been reflecting.
As I reflected this week, and my heart broke for all those effected I thought about all the moments as teachers we need to take time to soak it all in. To be grateful for amazing students and achievements, and to soak in the fact that no matter what we are making a difference everyday.
This week, I challenge you to reflect. Reflect on what you are grateful for, on what you have learned and how you are going to continue to learn, and how you are going to deal with the itch that is inside all of us to continue to grow.
Things I am grateful for: my family, my friends, my puppies, my students, my school, my country, and the laws that stand in between Canadians and gun violence.