In the wise words of Abraham Lincoln,
“Folks are usually about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Teaching is HARD, y’all, on so many levels, and it gets harder every single year. It gets harder to find the joy and truly love what we do and gets easier to get wrapped up in the negativity. We become like the five people we surround ourselves with the most. So WHO are you surrounding yourself with? And more importantly, are you a source of positivity or negativity to others?
I saved this one for last because I adamantly believe it is the MOST important. I’m willing to bet that the happiest teachers you know do not go to the school on weekends unless is it an emergency. They might come a little early and leave a little late each day, but by no means work at school until dinnertime. Now, I realize new teachers or teachers who are new to a school, grade level, or district are the exception, BUT that is still no substitute for having a healthy and happy personal life.
This one is also the HARDEST for most teachers (including myself) who are committed to their jobs and their students. Why?! Because there is absolutely NO way to get everything done during the school day that we have to get done. Do we have to take work home with us? Absolutely. But do we have to drag our teacher bag in the door and work from 4-10 pm every single night, barely having time to enjoy time with our family and friends, much less breathe? Absolutely NOT. My friend Kambra once reminded me that, “The most important work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home.” Looking back on your life, do you really want to say, “Well, I was REALLY good at grading papers and returning them on time and my lesson plans were always flawless!” That’s not what matters in this life, guys. As my principal tells us after every faculty meeting, “Go home and love on your loved ones.” LEAVE your teacher bag in the car for once. The world will not end if you get it done tomorrow or the next day. Showing up to teach and invest in your students each day is what REALLY matters.
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