In the midst of the testing season, it seems almost impossible to talk yourself into exuding the passion that under normal circumstances you feel about the job you do. Testing is stressful, it sucks the very life out of an ordinary day, and then it stresses the students into behaving like beings you have yet encountered on this planet. Ah testing, you have to love it.
As I walked around this week, monitoring tests and making sure the students stayed on track, I began thinking about the purpose of teaching. Was it to help them arrive safely in front of the standardized test ready to take it on and ace it? When I was in school, the very last thing I ever thought about was how my students would do on the test. It truly never entered my mind. I wanted them to love learning! Love the math…the science…the literature…EVERYTHING about school was amazing! If only I could help them see that! That was years ago, and while I now realize that tests are just part of the world we live in, I still feel very passionate about education. I feel as though it is moving in a very exciting, positive direction! I still find passion in entering my classroom everyday and seeing those faces try the very best they can.
I would like to think that those who know me, also know of my passion. Not because I tell them about it, but because they see it. Think about it. Do we not know many people, passionate about different things? Take for instance the passionate runner. Their car is lined with decals and magnets announcing their latest accomplishments. Passionate singers are always singing. Passionate sports fans become walking scoreboards. The list goes on. Does the world know our passion, as educators, by interacting with us or have we lost our sparkle?
How To Get Your Sparkle Back:
1. Shut your door and teach. This sounds simple – but the barrage of negative people and words can heighten when we are stressed … testing… It takes a conscious effort to walk away from it all and give your best to the kids.
2. Place reminders all around your room that remind you of what kind of teacher you want to be. Yes, sticky note the place up if you have to 🙂 We are what we think about – thoughts become beliefs which become actions.
3. Celebrate someone, serve someone, do something that takes the focus off of you and places it on someone else.
4. Listen to “Let It Go”…it will get stuck in your head and while you may find yourself annoyed…you will also be reminding yourself to do the same.
I’m struggling at the moment, just as you may be. When people speak words that cut deep, when the culture of a school drains more than encourages, remember that you CAN be the bright spot, sometimes you have no choice.