Only you know what to do

Being a teacher is hard work. You’ll work evenings, nights and weekends. The time with the students is too little, the time is too little, the circumstances are too large and energy is something that mostly the students have (sugar + caffeine is a PED that’s necessity in ed).


Which brings me to this, an article from Education Week about staying sane as a teacher. I came up to one of the last lines after reading through the advice — “Only you know what to do.” Advice is tricky as so many people (me included) are set in their ways. There is a difference between teaching and advising (the latter is for the counselors, the former, well…).


The advice in the article is grounded in experience. But one person’s experience is different from another – and so it goes. A lot of what I have been learning in my education program  stresses student data and connecting with other teachers, but the other two points are little more salient.


I once imagined myself, as the author did, going into a school akin to Beirut in the ’70s or Detroit now and being this amazing teacher and changing the world there. I could do that, or I could just teach whatever students I end up with. It doesn’t matter who they are or where they come from, every student, rich or poor, needs the best chance to succeed. I can still make a difference anywhere I go and hopefully make the world a better place.


And on the last point – enjoy being young. I am still young(ish), but I am married now, and within a few years a few kids. I have always found time in the past to enjoy life, even now with school, and school, and school, I still find joy in the little things. I have the energy now to be in an environment that requires that energy (though it will take the aforementioned coffee).


Note: This is probably my most disorganized blog post. But this is a blog, so, yeah.

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2 thoughts on “Only you know what to do

  1. This article sounds perfect for what I need to read this quarter! Four steps to staying sane. I clicked on the link but I couldn’t read the whole thing (I don’t subscribe to Education Week), and sadly the portion I could read ended right before giving any of those steps. Nooo!
    Finding joy in the little things is so important though, and I’m glad you brought that up. I’m finding joy in our 4 day week next week (hooray!), in the hilarious things my middle schoolers say or do, and in the books and lessons I’ve been able to teach this past week. And also tea! I love having a few minutes to just have a cup of tea, and to unwind from a long day. Sometimes it’s just the little things.

  2. What an appropriate title for how absolutely insane I am feeling this quarter! I think the problem is that I am getting bogged down by all the different advice from all these different experiences you mentioned. I need to work on taking what I need/like and leaving what I don’t. Sometimes it is hard to find joy in the little things when negativity is staring at you in the face, but I am naturally an optimist, and strive to also find the joy despite our busy crazy hectic schedules.

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