Practicing Life Long Learning

This year I set out on possibly my craziest journey yet- balancing being a full time teacher AND starting a Masters of Education degree! Although it has been a wild balancing act of tying to maintain my sanity, my excitement in the classroom, and an array of assignments- I have absolutely loved every second!

I think the challenge for teachers is always to keep growing and improving themselves when we are tasked with so many different challenges in our professions. I believe that when we take time to fill our own buckets and replenish the knowledge bank in our own hearts and minds then we can arrive so much more ready for our kids. I think especially as teachers, we must push ourselves to keep learning and growing in many elements of ourselves, just as we expect of our students.

Honestly though, I know what you might be thinking; “ya right life long learning, I cant even keep up…”. Don’t worry I get it.

In my first year of teaching, I felt like the life long learning thing was too much. I was sent to so many professional development days, was challenged to read so many books, went back to University in January of my first year… it was a lot. And I can tell you that there definitely is a time and place in our lives where we are prepared to accept new things.

The solution that I have come to learn is that it is not necessarily about a TON  of different things at once that challenge us to grow to keep learning. But at times, is just little things that could be little pushes to grow in our lives. Some examples could be; reading a book over a few months, listening to a podcast once a week, setting daily reflection time. Life long learning is sometimes small meaningful steps not large leaps.

Throughout this first semester of my Masters Degree, it has definitely been one of the large steps for me. This semester has been a ‘TSN turning point’ in my life. Meaning that it has directed some change in me (just as a turning point could in a sports game) to propel an outcome that may have been different if I had not gone down this path. The people that I have met, the questions that have been asked of me, the reflecting I have done, the assignments I have been challenged to complete- have all truly been a game changers.

I know I still have a long journey ahead of me, but for now I am feeling grateful for the gift that this degree have given me (so far). I am eager for the next chapter and I am also motivated to continue smaller life long learning pieces into my life.

I hope you take some time for your own personal growth.

Cheers,

Miss Rylance

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Surviving Teaching… truly

Hello! This is the first post I have made in a few months because life has picked up speed and I have been truly just ‘surviving teaching’. Welcome back to reading!

I often get asked why I decided to call my blog Surviving Teaching, because it may elude a negative tone and generally education embodies positivity and optimism. The truth is, I decided on Surviving Teaching because as teachers, sometimes we thrive and rock it, and sometimes we are just figuring out how to be the best we can for those kiddos and are just trying to survive. I wanted to present an authentic perspective of what went into teaching, all the great and stellar moments, but also the ones where you question your sanity and at times want to claw your eye balls out.

The last few months, for me, have taken surviving teaching to another level. 

In September I began my Masters of Education journey with the University of Portland, I thought it was going to be easy to balance the needs of a full time teaching job, ESL instructional coach, planning a wedding, teaching Ukrainian dance and being a student.

HA! I was wrong.

Don’t get me wrong, I have LOVED moving through the journey of going back to school and exploring areas of leadership. BUT, as a new teacher who already has a ton on the go… it has been rough. Some days are hard, like really hard. And the online world of education and social media tends to portray the great and fantastic things about being a teacher. Nothing can prepare you for the feeling of a student loosing it on you and expressing you aren’t doing a good job, nothing can prepare you for the heart break you feel when they are suffering, nothing can prepare you for the amount of patience and grit you are required to have to truly give 100% every day…. its hard.

Some days, I truly wonder if I want to be a teacher, and I definitely know other people are with me on this one.

I have been doing a lot of self reflecting over the past few months about my purpose in life, why I am here, what if I am no where near what I am destined to do. But, one wise friend of mine told me “it is ok to be blissfully dissatisfied with your life”.

The idea of being blissfully dissatisfied changed my perspective on what I am accomplishing now in my life and where I am destined to go. The blissful part comes from being truly happy where I am in my life; amazing students, great classroom, stellar support system, opportunities to grow and learn. However, the dissatisfied part comes from knowing there is something bigger and better waiting for me in my future self.

I have summed it all into one thought. Surviving Teaching… is all about being blissfully dissatisfied. About being present and happy in the moment no matter what is being thrown at us and knowing we are doing everything we can to push on and arrive how we can for our students. But the other side of it also includes enough dissatisfaction to challenge the present, grow, learn more and want more.

For everyone else struggling through balancing what ever you have going, I am with you. Surviving teaching is going to be our greatest accomplishment, and it is ok to be blissfully dissatisfied.

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Cheers,

Miss Rylance