I will always be real with you. Today there are no classroom craftivities, no bright colors and classroom creative lesson plans. No new ‘Teachers We Love’ video interviews. Just a real teacher story and heartfelt post.
I have been asked: How are you always so happy? You are Miss Congeniality. You are such an amazing teacher. My Sprinkle Teaching Magic blog, pictures on Instagram, happy posts on my teaching Facebook page, special teacher interviews all tell part of my teaching story. But there is more.
Let’s take it waaaaay back.
I’ve taken what I loved doing as a child to my adult life. I used to play teacher in my mom’s 8th grade classroom. I would stick paper clips on my fingers, write on the chalk board, and teach a classroom full of stuffed animals. Those stuffed animals eventually turned into real students, and I have taught grades K-5.
As a young girl, I had a trusty cassette tape recorder and a video camera, and pretended I was a radio and television host. Now I produce shows on my YouTube channel offering free tips and teacher interviews. I also host a monthly Teacher Radio Show.
You need to know that I am by no means the “perfect happy teacher”. In fact I am far from. I hope the more honest I am about my own teaching struggles the more I can help you. I have had life and career ups and downs.
There was even a time I almost walked away from teaching, my true calling.
More recently, I had to leave my teaching position three weeks before the end of the school year. This was with great heaviness of heart. I have often shared on this blog how wonderful my students are. I love them with all my heart and I am so proud of the growth and successes we have made this year.
Ultimately, there are many things that go on behind the scenes in a teacher’s life and at a school. Relationships, loss, health, grief, and life priorities come up. Educational dysfunction/bureaucracy compromises a teacher’s values and philosophy. Everyday this depletes the teacher. Put on a brave face. Be there for your school. Your students. Your parents. What happens when a teacher needs to be there for themselves? What boundaries does a teacher keep? Putting ourselves first can come across as selfish and confusing to those not walking in our shoes.
I am not happy every moment in the classroom or every moment in life. This is not a reality. In fact I struggle daily with some anxiety. I have spent years observing teachers, interviewing teachers, reading about education, and trying out happy practices. Some have worked and some fell flat, but I will always continue to focus on teacher happiness.
We all know that teaching is a noble profession and meaningful career.
The heart of education is the students. This I know, but what about you, the teacher? Over the years I see how myself and my colleagues give and often give to their detriment.
Are there enough people advocating for you? Supporting you? Listening? Understanding? And shining light on amazing teachers who keep going despite the dysfunction that exists in education?
Teachers are truly grateful for the appreciation and love given by the school community and students. And often, the community, students, and administration do not know what goes on behind the scenes or daily struggles a teacher may have. Teachers must have a voice.
I decided my true passion and calling lie beyond my classroom and to a larger community of teachers.
I think about the darkest times in my teaching career and how in those fragile moments I wish I had something or somebody in education to turn to. I needed a community that focused on the positive, but yet shared the nitty-gritty, real life teaching stories. I didn’t need another classroom idea; I needed a pep-talk, a “I’ve been there, I get it, you are still an amazing teacher and you don’t have to be perfect all the time.”
I carefully and thoughtfully create every video, blog post, and radio interview to support you and to give back to the profession I love. If I can help a teacher I am indirectly helping students.
I’m here to be a “connector” among all of the fabulous teachers in the world. I will bring you stories of hope, inspiration, and courage.
I am here to increase your potential for success and to give you meaningful teacher connections.
Taking what I have learned and sharing it with you brings me the greatest joy.
I hope to boost and refresh your spirit when the work load of teaching is overwhelming.