How Was You Day? (Better than I first thought)

When my daughter asked me how my day went Friday, I was taken back. Not because I was surprised that she cared about my day. Her question just happened to be late. Nevertheless, my initial response was, it was okay—nothing exciting.

I am the assistant principal at an alternative school so a day in which nothing exciting happens can be a pretty good day. My daughter didn’t see it that way and she kinda felt sorry for me. I knew I had to search deeper. And then it hit me.

I did have something positive to share with her. A close friend of mine had heard some good news—awesome news really. He was so excited and as happy as I had heard him in years.

And so, you know what? So was I. His good news made me happy and I carried that joy with me with rest of the day.

Happiness doesn’t have to be a solo act. In fact, it rarely is. Think back to the times when you were your happiest or when you experienced the most joy. I bet it involved others. And I bet at least half of the time it involved someone else reaching one of their goals or someone else shining, not you.

We all know that laughter is contagious. Just try watching a video of a baby laughing and giggling without laughing too. It’s almost impossible. The same is often the case with happiness. If we witness someone else experiencing happiness or joy, we often feel happy and joyful too.

What does this have to do with education?

Students

We have all experienced moments of joy and happiness that had nothing to do with us and everything to do with what our students were experiencing or sharing at the time.

Maybe it’s the 6-year-old student who skips into class and can’t wait to share with you what she did over the weekend. She got to bake cookies with her grandmother and it was the best day ever. Her grandmother even let her lick the bowl and have an extra cookie. But don’t tell her mom she pleads, she doesn’t want to get in trouble.

What about the middle school student that just found that the girl he has a crush on, likes him too. You know that this budding romance won’t last long, but his happiness brings a smile to your face. You’ll be there when it is over and you’ll be there when he has his next crush.

Finally, how about when the high school senior that you’ve been working with since 9th grade shows you their acceptance letter to the college of their dreams. They can’t believe it, even though you can because you’ve been watching them grow for the past four years.

You see, we may have days that are tough, stressful and just plain suck. But, if we can take our focus off ourselves and what we are going through, I am certain we can find students who can lift us up. Or even if we are having a good day, students have the power to make it even better. I had one such day several years ago.

Colleagues

These are the folks that you spend the majority of your waking hours with. You laugh with them and you cry with them. During the course of a school year, you will all have ups and downs. And it’s hard not to take on the stress and frustrations of those that we are close with.

Since that is the case, why don’t we try harder to share in our colleagues’ joy? I know we have baby showers, birthday parties and such. But what about day to day victories? We’re all not going to have them individually, but we will have them collectively.

Maybe at the end of the day you and your team, or your partner or your staff come together and share what went well. As I mentioned, we all won’t have victories every day. But someone in the room will. That is a reason to be happy. That is a reason to smile and just knowing that someone else experienced a victory, has the potential to turn your day around. If you allow it.

Parents

Parents love to hear good news. Most often though, the calls they receive from us are not pertaining to positive occurrences. I am guilty and I must get better at this. I am certain if the only time I ever heard from my kids’ schools was when they did something wrong, I would not look forward to hearing their calls.

Additionally, parents have jobs and lives and difficult days too that have nothing to do with their children. But like us, their day could be turned around by hearing about someone else’s good news. More specifically, we have the power to lift parents up just by sharing something good about their child. It doesn’t need to grand and it doesn’t need to take long. Sometimes a 30 second phone call is all that’s needed.

Close your eyes. No wait a minute, this is an article and you have to read the words. Anyway. Just imagine if you were having a bad day. Nothing seemed to be going right. You couldn’t wait to get home so you could just rest and start over. Then, just when you couldn’t feel any lower, you get a call from your kid’s school. The school counselor called to tell you what a great kid you have. The counselor had observed your son standing up for someone who was being teased and they just had to let you know. All of the sudden you realized that you had a good day.

Last Friday

So, while I didn’t have any exciting or particularly great news to share with my daughter about my Friday—my friend had a great day. And that was enough to make my day good too. There will be days when great things might not happen to you or for you. That’s okay. Look around. And you’ll find all the happiness you need.

 

 

*If you would like to have my next article and my latest podcast episode delivered to your in box just click HERE. And as an extra bonus, when you sign up for my newsletter you will receive A Teacher’s Blueprint To The Best Week Ever. This is a free, 40 page pdf designed to help you have an awesome week. It’s not what you think, trust me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spend More Time Planting Seeds and Less Time Measuring Vines

It’s only natural. We want to know how well we’re doing. If what we are saying or writing or creating is making any sense—if it is resonating with others. We often go about this by counting downloads, likes, retweets, shares, etc. This is okay up to a certain point. But after a while, it can become a distraction. I have been guilty and I’m sure I still will be from time to time.

It is important to measure how effective or impactful our work is—in the classroom and out. But measuring takes time. Time that could be used doing other things. Like creating and thinking and working. Getting sucked into the measuring trap is very easy. Yet, what do we gain by measuring so often? Oftentimes a false sense of pride or unwarranted dejection.

I know that I feel best when I am in the midst of creating. That may mean that I am reading a book. Or maybe I am writing or preparing for a presentation. Sometimes, I am just listening and learning and sharing with others.

Whatever it is I’m doing, I know I am at my best and I feel best, when I am planting seeds. Here’s the cool thing that happens when you spend your time focused on planting seeds instead of measuring vines; sprouts pop up all the time. When you are not even expecting them. Of course, everything you plant doesn’t flourish or even grow for that matter.

That’s okay. Because you’ve planted enough seeds that you are almost guaranteed that something will pop up. And it’s usually when you least expect it. Up to this point I have been talking about social media and hits and likes and such. But this mindset applies to most everything we do.

Your Students

We spend our days doing everything we can to positively impact the lives of our students. Making every effort to connect with a student that we know has been dealt a difficult hand. Sometimes we see our efforts pay off immediately. Most of the time we don’t though. And it is frustrating. We are measuring every day, every interaction, every reaction. When we feel as if our efforts are in vain, we lose a little hope. It can become discouraging.

This is the time we need to plant more seeds. Maybe try a different approach. Or, focus on a different student. By no means, are we giving up on the student that we couldn’t affect right away. We simply must continue to plant seeds. We’ll be back to measure later. We just can’t measure all the time.

It will happen when we least expect it. Maybe a week later. Maybe a month. Sometimes years. And when we see that growth, we smile because we saw the potential all along. The student who one day is able to write their first and last name without any assistance. The student who can’t wait to tell you that they just finished their first chapter book. Ever. The senior, who struggled in middle school, informing you that they got accepted into college.

If we plant enough seeds, we eventually begin to see the fruits of our labor. But we must not ever stop planting. Because just when you’re ready to hang your head, a bud pops up. One that you had forgotten about. One that you barely remember planting. And you smile as you plant your next seed.

It’s been over 20 years but I still remember quite vividly the day one of my students learned to write coherent and complete sentences. She was in my 2nd grade class, my very first class. This child worked hard. But the words she put down on paper never seemed to come together. Her paper would be full of nonsense words. A typical sentence may look like the following:

Mnft jhnt mrtf trst mng drt.

I didn’t know what to think of it. She was putting the effort in. I was putting the effort in. But the connection was not there. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to teach her the following year. And I don’t know what it was. All the sudden she was writing coherent words. Not just words. Sentences. Not just sentences. She filled up the page!

I couldn’t believe it. I had no idea what had happened. I wish I could say it was something I did but I can’t. I think it was just time. Her seed had germinated long enough and it broke through the soil. To this day, it is still one of the most incredible transformations I have ever witnessed.

Your Teaching

You are always looking for ways to become a better teacher. You read teacher-books while your friends read the fun-books. You attend conferences hours away from home. You take classes that are supposed to help you better meet the needs of your students.

And yet you can’t figure out why your evaluations always come out the same. Your students still struggle on the state assessments. And you don’t feel as if you are any better for all the effort you put in.

Keep planting seeds.

First, evaluations are often unreliable and they rarely, if ever, tell the whole picture. They are a snapshot, of one lesson on one day of one class. The odds are, you’re better than you realize. Maybe the person evaluating you missed it. Maybe you are trying something new and you messed up. On that day. But in the long run it will pay off. And soon you’ll be teaching at a whole new level.

Next, just because your students struggled on the state assessment, that doesn’t mean that you and they are not better. We all know that those assessments don’t measure the majority of what you do in the classroom. Can they measure conflict resolution? Do they show if a student made huge improvements? Rarely. Most of the time, it is either met or not met. Trust me, you are impacting your students more than you realize. Those seeds will sprout.

Finally, it is easy for teachers to get down on themselves. To feel as if what they are doing is not making much of a difference. Folks that work with widgets see immediate results. Teachers, on the other hand, rarely, if ever, witness immediate results. It is frustrating because you are working so hard and you just want to feel as if you are getting better.

Keep planting seeds.

Your Professional Aspirations

You’ve applied for the position for the past three years. Once you got an interview and the other two times you didn’t even get an acknowledgement. Maybe you want to become a content area coach. Maybe you want to become an administrator. Or maybe you want to teach somewhere else. Either way, it’s frustrating because you feel as if you’re never going to get what it is you want.

Or maybe you want to present a certain conference or you want to publish an article in a particular journal. You got accepted to present at a conference once a few years ago. But it was your third choice and only seven people attended your session. I’ve been there. Spending hours and hours preparing for a session in a room that holds 50 people only to have 7 show up is discouraging.

Keep planting seeds.

Because if and when you plant enough of them, they will sprout. But only if you plant a lot. Don’t waste time measuring and don’t spend time feeling sorry for yourself. Just keep going.

I’ll leave you with this short story.

One time I presented at a conference in an auditorium that seats over a thousand people. I was prepared, at least I thought I was. And I was psyched. But as I looked out into the audience, I saw few faces. Not because the light was in my eyes but because there were only a handful of people present.

Nevertheless, I was going to make it the best possible presentation for the people that were there. I started off well. And then the projector cut off. They were able to get it working after a five minute lull. Unfortunately, not long after the projector was up and running again my computer died.

I had forgotten to fully charge the battery and I didn’t have it plugged in. I was able to make it through the presentation and I tried to stay as calm as I could. But I felt like crap. After I was finished, I thanked some folks for coming and stayed around a little while to connect with a few friends.

As I was heading to my car to drive home, I must admit, I was feeling down and was beginning to wonder if it was worth it. I got in my car and decided to check my email before heading home. The first email I read was one informing me that I had been accepted to present at a National Conference. It made me smile. I had forgotten about the seed that I had planted many months before.

And so, I keep planting seeds. Do I stop to measure sometimes? Absolutely. But only for a moment. Because I have seeds to plant. Every day.

 

*If you would like to have my next article and my latest podcast episode delivered to your in box just click HERE. And as an extra bonus, when you sign up for my newsletter you will receive “A Teacher’s Blueprint To The Best Week Ever”. This is a free, 40 page pdf designed to help you have an awesome week. It’s not what you think, trust me.

 

 

 

 

Slowing Down: The Soft Skill that Gets Left Behind

We spend our lives planning and hoping for them yet oftentimes the most beautiful moments happen by accident—when we slow down long enough to take in what was right in front of us along.

I had to go to another school to pick up work forwa one of our students. I could have walked. I should have walked. But I decided to drive instead. And as I was heading to the parking lot, I saw something I had seen many times in the past. A woman wasa walking her dog by the school. Her dog didn’t need a leash. She walked ahead and never strayed too far from her owner.

It always made me smile when I saw the two going for their morning walk. They were peaceful. They were quiet. And they had each other. I really have no idea how long their morning walks took, I would only see them as they passed by the school.

But on this day, instead of simply saying good morning and moving on, I decided to stop and talk. And I am glad that I did. After I said hello, I knelt down to pet the woman’s dog. The dog was scared, maybe hesitant is a better word to describe her. She didn’t run away but she wasn’t ready for me yet either.

As we began to exchange pleasantries, it became clear to me that this woman that I never met before was a beautiful soul. She had experienced loss and yet it hadn’t hardened her to the world. Her outlook was one of hope and faith. Never once did she complain about the hand life had dealt her. I was moved to say the least.

We talked for at least fifteen minutes. Towards the end of our conversation, I knelt down to attempt one more time to pet her dog. The dog approached me, calmly and quietly. And allowed me to pet her. Not for very long. But it didn’t matter. She trusted me.

Why? Well, I am not a dog whisperer so I can’t say for sure. I think it had much to do with the dog observing her owner and I talking and sharing in a relaxed, comfortable manner. That’s all it took.

I walked away from that moment last week with a renewed sense of purpose. Now this doesn’t mean that I will always be successful, but I am going to make more of an effort to slow down and simple take in moments—almost as if I am letting them unfold.

Yes, I am an educator and this site and my work is dedicated to helping teachers feel better and be better. No, my conversation with this woman last week had nothing to do with test scores or performance objectives. But it had everything to do with connecting with a fellow human being. It had to to with slowing down and taking the time to connect.

Did I arrive at the high school fifteen minutes later than I had planned? Yes.

Could those fifteen minutes been spent helping a child, analyzing data or planning professional development? Possibly.

So what?

I was able to slow down and connect with a fellow human being. We often talk about the importance of relationships and connecting and yet we are always on the go. Always driving to check off that next item on our to-do list. I have been guilty and I am sure at times I still will be. But I think my wake-up call last week opened my eyes to what can be if I just slow down. I think we can all do this and I think we should all try to do better. Below are three suggestions I have for slowing down and allowing moments to unfold.

Start Your Day Without Technology

Why is it that as soon as we wake up in the morning we feel the urge to check our our phones, go on the internet or watch the news? Do we fear the possibility that something important could have happened while we were asleep?

I believe that if something happened while we were sleeping that we just had to know about, then we’d know about it. Friends, family or colleagues would have found a way to contact us. Phones, doorbells and good old-fashioned door knocks have the ability to get our attention if necessary.

What if we woke up and did something other than go on some sort of device? We eased into the day with a cup of coffee and a book. Or maybe we go for a walk and enjoy the fresh air and the morning calm. Believe me, I am not always able to do this. There are mornings when I go on Twitter, Facebook or check my email. But the mornings that I don’t? Those are the ones that feel the best.

Talk to Your Colleagues

It is easy to teach a full day and not have one conversation with an adult—if we’re not careful. Rushing to the copier in the morning we barely notice the people around us. Lunch can become a time where we either get work done or relive the most difficult events of the morning. And we are often in such a rush to get home, or wherever we have to be after school, that we barely say more than a quick goodbye to those in our path.

What if instead of rushing to the copier in the morning, we stop and ask our colleague how their daughter’s ballgame went last night? We don’t need to linger and we are not asking for a play-by-play. But stopping long enough to show interest matters. It shows you care and it starts your day off with a connection. Something we have forgotten how to do. Maybe not forgotten, but something we have pushed to the side.

And yes, I get that lunch can be a time to get work done. But it can also be a time to slow down, relax and just talk about anything other than school. Maybe you talk about Game of Thrones, maybe you talk about your weekend or maybe you don’t do much talking at all. Maybe you just sit and listen. It won’t be long before you will have students in front of you and you will be doing plenty of talking then. So why not take this time you have to eat slowly, listen quietly and sit calmly?

Finally, I get that we all have much to do after school. And some folks have to rush to day care, ball practice or a second job. But why not, on the way out, slow down long enough to connect with a colleague? Maybe you talk a little trash about their sports team that lost last night. Maybe you ask what they’re up to that evening. Or maybe you simply smile at them, look them in the eye and tell them to have a nice evening. You can do that.

Slow Down Before You Miss Out

How many times have we been in such a rush to get somewhere or do something that we missed a wonderful moment happening right before our eyes? I know there have been times when I was so concerned with taking a photo of a moment that I missed experiencing the moment itself. Yes, I have the photo on my my phone. But wouldn’t it have been nicer to have fully taken in the moment itself?

About 7 years ago, The Washington Post conducted an experiment involving Joshua Bell, one of the greatest violinists in the world. He went down to the subway and performed for free for 45 minutes. Only 7 people stopped to hear him play. Seven! More than a thousand just walked by. I’d like to think that I would have stopped. But hindsight is 20/20.

Slowing down takes practice. Slowing down takes time, literally. But slowing down is almost always worth it.

*If you would like to have my next article and my latest podcast episode delivered to your in box just click HERE. And as an extra bonus, when you sign up for my newsletter you will receive “A Teacher’s Blueprint To The Best Week Ever”. This is a free, 40 page pdf designed to help you have an awesome week. It’s not what you think, trust me.

Worried About That Student on Your Class List? (Just remember these 5 things)

You don’t like what you are thinking. How you are feeling, They’re somebody’s kid. Someone’s world. But you can’t help it. Seeing her name on your class list has you worried. All you can think about are class disruptions, interrupted instruction and stand-offs.

Please know that that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. We’ve all have felt this way before and anyone that says they haven’t is either lying or has never had a class of their own. Don’t worry, you got this. Below are five suggestions that may help shift your mindset.

Don’t Buy-In to the Rumors

Sure, you’ve heard the student that is going to be in your class this year has a history of misbehavior and her discipline log entries take up three pages. Your colleagues breathed a sigh of relief when they saw that she wasn’t on their class roster. Okay, but guess what? She hasn’t been in your class before. She hasn’t had you for an entire year. You haven’t even met her yet.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Ruby Payne, author of Emotional Poverty in All Demographics, about how teachers can maintain their emotional stability when students lose theirs. During our discussion, she pointed out that “the difference between a good and a bad behavior is compassion.”

What?

I used to thing that bad behavior was bad and good behavior was good and that was that (deep, I know). It was fairly cut and dry. But then I thought back to an incident that I witnessed ten years ago involving a student attacking another student. I remember my initial reaction and thoughts and I remember how everything changed once I learned all the facts. Once I learned of everything that led up to the incident, I had compassion. Take a moment to read this short piece where I go into more detail and I think you’ll see what I mean.

The bottom line is that you don’t know why she misbehaved in the past. But you owe it to her and you owe it yourself to start fresh and make your own impression. You could be her favorite of all time. The one she talks about twenty years from now when her friends ask her about the teacher that made a difference in her life.

Imagine being the person that helped rewrite this child’s lifescript. That’s powerful and definitely worth a shot. So, whatever you do don’t buy-in to what you’ve heard about this kid. Don’t you dare.

Don’t Believe the Movies

Who among us hasn’t been inspired at some point in our lives by the way that teachers in movies are able to magically transform students who are struggling into model students in a matter of weeks? From Dangerous Minds to Dead Poets Society, Lean on Me to Stand and Deliver, it’s mesmerizing to watch what these men and women are able to accomplish—on the screen.

On the other hand, we know that we are not Morgan Freeman or Michelle Pfieffer and this scares us. We see these movies for the first time when we are young and oftentimes they are what inspire us to go into education. But then the Hollywood Effect wears off and we have our first class—our first difficult situation in which we can’t figure out what to do what with hard-to-reach student. We think back to the movies and we say what Morgan Freeman said and we do what Michelle Pfieffer did. And it doesn’t work. And we are scared. And we think it’s us.

Can teachers transform lives like the characters in the movies? Yes and no. Yes, you can absolutely change the lives of students and impact them like these fictional and sometimes real-life characters did. But it often doesn’t happen as smoothly and as quickly as it does in the movies. Movie producers and script writers must tell a story in under two hours and the bumps and bruises aren’t always as exciting as the victories and transformed lives. So, we never have the opportunity to witness the entire story. Author Jon Acuff once said, “don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.”

You Will Have Help

Often we think that we must go it alone. Turn this kid around all by ourselves. Yet, we are often the first person to offer help or lend a hand when it is needed. Then why is it that we are reluctant to ask for help?

I think we believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness—it signifies that we are unable to do our jobs. The thing is, nothing could be further from the truth. Schools have guidance counselors and social workers and coaches for a reason. Teaching is hard and it is meant not meant to be a solo act.

While some students may come to you well-adjusted and in need of little, there are others that are in need of help and resources from various stakeholders. That is why they are they are there. The services that some students need couldn’t possibly be one person alone. So, don’t hesitate to reach out.

They May Be There for You

Did you ever stop to think that maybe this particular student was put in your class such that you could get better? Yes, we are the ones that are being paid. Yes, we are the adults. And yes, we already have our degree.

But, what if this student that has you worried was somehow, someway, placed in your room to help you learn more about yourself. Maybe this student requires us to practice extreme patience. More than we have ever needed before. And maybe we do, over the course of the year or the semester, become a much more patient person.

We mustn’t forget that we are much more than educators. We are mothers and fathers and husbands and wives and friends and partners. Learning to be more patient at school will often help us become more patient at home.

I know. I know. It is hard to imagine that the angry, defiant student has something to teach us. But I’m betting they do. If we are open to the possibility. As Ryan Holiday reminds us in The Obstacle is the Way, changing the way we see obstacles can make all the difference as we go through life. We can hang our head when presented with difficult situations or we can believe that obstacles placed before us have the potential to help us grow. As the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius put it: “the impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

You Got This

I have been where you are. I know what it is like to see a student’s name on my class list and think the worst. It doesn’t make us bad people. It makes us human.

I’ve also had students that drove me crazy and struggled all year become the same ones that came back years later to give me a hug. Or stopped me in Target to say hello. They remembered me and I definitely remembered them. And while I remember wanting to pull my hair out at times, I will also never forget their mom telling me how much of a difference I made in their child’s life. And that was worth it.

Have a great year!

Additional Resources:

Maintaining Your Emotional Stability When Students Lose Theirs  interview with Ruby Payne

Best Year Yet a short story about a teacher and a student who met each other at just the right time

Fix? a short piece about the mistaken mindset that it is our job to fix students

Why I let 2 kids’ behavior ruin my school year (and what I wish I’d done differently) an incredibly transparent piece and accompanying podcast episode from Angela Watson

*If you would like to have my next article and my latest podcast episode delivered to your in box just click HERE. And as an extra bonus, when you sign up for my newsletter you will receive “A Teacher’s Blueprint To The Best Week Ever”. This is a free, 40 page pdf designed to help you have an awesome week. It’s not what you think, trust me.

Why We Shouldn’t Give 100%

Something has to change. Then again, maybe it’s just me.

I am paid a fair salary and my working conditions are good. And yet, it continues to bother me. So, until I make a change, it will continue to happen.

What am I talking about?

I am referring to the physical and mental state I am in when I arrive home each day.

When I walk through my front door, and sometimes before I even get inside, I am greeted by my seven-year old son who excitedly asks me, “What are we playing today Daddy?” Usually he has some type of ball in his hand and he is ready for action. The problem is, I am not. Ready for action that is. Most of the time my response is, “We’ll play later Buddy, Daddy just got home, he needs to rest for a little bit.”

Then my little bit often turns into an hour or two. Don’t worry, we play. But often it’s not for as long as he’d like and it’s not with energy and enthusiasm that he needs. I tell myself that I need to play longer but by the time we get outside and get going, our time together is usually less than 30 minutes. And I feel guilty.

That is ridiculous! I know I shouldn’t beat myself up over this. I mean I just wrote a piece titled You Are a Good Parent and yet here I am. And I do think I am a good parent. But I think I am giving too much of myself to my work. Don’t get me wrong, most educators put in much longer days than I do and most educators, teachers especially, have much more difficult jobs than I have.

But something’s doesn’t seem right. I am giving seven and half plus hours to my job and yet can barely find 20 minutes for my own son? To be clear, I am not giving seven and half hours, I am paid quite well. And I signed up for this. I know. I know. Stop complaining Jon.

This isn’t meant to be a complaint. I am thinking out loud. It’s been on my mind recently and earlier this week I came across a thought-provoking tweet and thread from John Spencer.

I would like to add-on to John’s tweet. Not only do students need well-rested teachers, children need well-rested parents, husband and wives need well-rested partners, friends need well-rested friends and we need well-rested minds and bodies.

Right about now you’re either thinking, Jon you’re in the wrong profession or Jon I feel you. And I respect and understand either reaction. I just know that I can’t continue to operate the way that I have been for years. It’s not healthy, it’s not fair to my family and it’s not fair to me.

Here comes some pushback. But Jon, what about the students, staff and parents that you are paid to serve each day. Don’t they deserve 100% from you every day? How can you give them less than everything that you have? You gotta go all in.

No I don’t.

And neither do you.

And here’s why.

Educators are burning out and quitting at an unprecedented rate. More and more folks in this profession are experiencing anxiety, depression and are just plain exhausted. Those of you that hire teachers each year knows what I am talking about. The summer months are a scramble just to fill positions. And teachers,  you can’t possibly give any more. In fact, as the title says, I think you should give less.

Blasphemy Jon!

How could you say such a thing?!?

Test scores will drop.

Children will suffer.

Teachers will sell-out.

To that my answer is …

Well, I don’t want to say what my answer is because I am trying to keep this clean.

Ok Jon, if you’re so smart, what do you propose? We can’t just tell our staff to give 90%. And if you’re a teacher, you’re thinking, I am not wired that way. It’s all or nothing baby.

Well I had an idea. And I tried it out yesterday. And it worked!

Tomorrow, today, when you’re ready. Make a conscious effort to save a little bit. Not much. Just 10%.

Don’t correct every mistake. Don’t expect a perfect lesson. Don’t demand that your class behave perfectly. And see what happens.

Well, I tried it yesterday. At lunch duty. I help supervise 4 lunch duties each day. It’s a great time to be with the kids and it helps to keep an orderly cafeteria. It can get loud at times. Well yesterday, I saved a little bit. There were a few times when it got just a little too loud for my liking. I was tempted to raise my voice and get everyone quiet. And I did, most of the time.

But not every time.

I saved a little.

And you know what? Everything worked out. The results were no different than the day before. But I had more energy when I left the building.

On my drive home I called my wife. I asked her to tell my son that we were playing football when I get home. Not later. Not in an hour. But when I get home. I could hear his excitement through the phone. I could feel it.

And I knew at that moment that saving 10% was what I needed to do from now on.

Try it today. Don’t tell anyone. But throughout the day make small conscious efforts to save a little here and a little there. I bet nobody will notice and I bet there will be no ill side effects.

Actually, I take that back. Your family will notice. Your friends will notice. And most importantly, you will notice.

It’s time to feel better.

Good luck, and let me know how it goes.

 

*If you would like to have my next article and my latest podcast episode delivered to your in box just click HERE. And as an extra bonus, when you sign up for my newsletter you will receive “A Teacher’s Blueprint To The Best Week Ever”. This is a free, 40 page pdf designed to help you have an awesome week. It’s not what you think, trust me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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