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The end of the school year is soon. How are you feeling? Are you energized? Looking forward to each new day? Excited about the possibilities of another day?
Or are you dragging? Do you feel tired? Are you counting down the minutes until the bell rings and the students leave?
It’s no secret that teaching can sometimes feel like a marathon. There are times when the work is just too overwhelming. The days are too long. But, just like running a marathon, the end results make the entire struggle worth every second (I’ve never actually run a marathon…I’m just guessing that the end of all of that running is rewarding…). 🙂
So what can you do in the meantime? How do you revitalize your love for teaching and not burn out 3/4 of the way through the year?
I’ve outlined some of my favorite methods and resources below.
1). Read! There is something inspiring about reading a book made specifically for teachers.
Some of my favorite reads include:
The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller. If you are ready to inspire your students to love reading, this is the book for you. Not only will your students benefit from the steps you’ll put in place as a result, but you will be energized by what has transpired in Miller’s classroom and the possibilities of your own classroom.
In the Best Interest of Students by Kelly Gallagher. Holy wow. This book reaffirmed all of my concerns regarding over-testing, collecting too many data-points, and more! Not only does Gallagher address those concerns, but then he gives actual steps we can take to remain true to what works in the classroom. I can’t recommend this book enough.
The Writing Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo. Everyone I know who has this book loves it. Serravallo breaks down the writing process, which we know is huge during state testing prep, into actionable strategies any teacher can implement. This book is practical, applicable, and one that can be used for years to come. You can also check out the companion, The Reading Strategies Book.
How To Make a Difference by Marjan Glavac If you are truly feeling bogged down by the teaching profession, Glavac’s digital resources (available immediately upon purchase!) will energize you again. His book details the many ways we can and are making a difference in the classroom. His book gives stress-free ways to impact your students and reignite your love for teaching almost overnight! Your purchase also includes several free things, like ‘How to Make a Difference Workbook,’ ‘Succeed with a Noisy Classroom,’ ‘Unleashing Your Brilliance,’ ‘Timesavers for Teachers,’ and so many more. Over 10 extras in total. Click here to check it out and purchase.
2). Learn a new skill. Yes, teaching can be all-consuming. We dream about work, work all day, continue thinking about teaching during dinner, work on lesson plans after dinner, and then wake up and do it all over again. I know that sometimes my brain just needs a break from thinking about teaching.
If teaching is your hobby, great. If you want to work on a new hobby, there are several ways to do that.
My favorite: Skillshare! Skillshare is an awesome online community where professionals in every conceivable creative field share and create classes. Each class can be anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours. Each class is broken up into 2-10 minutes segments, which means you can watch short bits when time allows. I wrote all about Skillshare here and even have an offer for a free month (commitment free!). I’ve watched classes on Illustrator, Graphic Design, Photography, Marketing, Watercolor Painting, Hand-Lettering, and more. I guarantee you’ll find something you love.
Start a club. Invest in those kids a little more. I find that some of my best and most fulfilling moments at school happen when I am working in a volunteer-type capacity, such as serving as a club advisor. I currently am the advisor for our school’s book club and the Junior class. I’m currently knee-deep in planning Prom, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Start a blog. In my opinion, the world could use more teachers talking about our profession. Teachers need to gain encouragement, strategies, and camaraderie with other bloggers. If you’ve ever thought about blogging, now is a great time to start!
You’ll need a hosting site. While there are many to choose from, I recommend iPage as an affordable way to begin. When I began designing this site, I messed up pretty badly and received the dreaded ‘500 Internal Error’ message. I lost all access to my Wordpress Admin site. I used iPage’s chat feature and the service rep accessed my account and restored all features and functionality in a matter of minutes. I didn’t have to speak to anyone on the phone or follow any complicated steps. They took care of everything.
Additionally, they have easy-to-follow directions for installing wordpress and getting started.
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So…how are you feeling? Are you feeling energized by teaching or could you use a boost? Comment below and let me know how things are going. What strategies, tips, and techniques can you share for getting out of a rut?