Today I woke up to the greatest gift – a New York Times article about how happy teachers create happy classrooms if we want to give students a chance to understand where true happiness comes from in life! Mind. Blown. I have been thinking, praying, and dreaming about this idea for the past two+ years as I’ve made this coaching practice for teachers a reality. And now it’s validated in the New York freaking Times!!! [Read more…]
How do you know when to leave teaching? To answer that, ask yourself… have I tried everything? You may have exhausted your personal list of things you think you can do to be a better and happier teacher, but what about gremlin taming? Have you tried that?
That may seem like a strategy I just pulled from The Lord of the Rings – but it’s a real strategy that good teachers possess that help them to fight burnout. Gremlin taming – among other strategies – help teachers stay happy, healthy, peaceful and balanced so they can remember the reasons they got into teaching in the first place.
Many of us teachers struggle with perfectionism. Turns out – it’s more pervasive than we could ever imagine! Every. single. person. deals with perfectionism on some level. None of us are immune to it. Instead of thinking about perfectionism as “you have it” or “you don’t” – try thinking about it on a continuum. [Read more…]
Is it just me, or does life just seem really heavy right now? Anyone else in that same boat out there? Sometimes life just gets. so. real. The heaviness of life sometimes overwhelms. I thought maybe this would be a good time to explore a common teacher problem: when life gets real. Life gets real when the world outside our classroom seems to be crumbling down, caving in, and falling apart, and we feel that we have to “keep it together” for our students. Instead, at these times we have to have the courage to feel our way through instead of cover up and numb – even as teachers… especially as teachers. [Read more…]
Do you ever find yourself writing and rewriting and re-rewriting an email to a colleague, parent, or your principal? Do you question yourself, doubt yourself, or feel unsure? Whether it is an instructional decision, a difficult conversation, or our own feelings – why is it so difficult for us to trust our instincts? [Read more…]
I’m a self-proclaimed organization ‘geek’. Nothing makes me more happy than school supplies on sale this time of year. In fact, when I was little, I would save up my money to go to the office supply store and buy folders, pens, and sticky-notes. I know…I was a teacher in the making for sure!
But the good news about all that is that creating organization systems is something that comes relatively easy for me. And since I get some (geeky) satisfaction out of labeling and organizing, my systems are always being examined and retooled (or….that may just be a justification for buying more office supplies…)
So here are my best organization tips for back to school:
Each year at this back-to-school season, we teachers feel filled with anticipation, motivation, hopes, and some nerves. I don’t know a single teacher – no matter how veteran – who doesn’t still have a bit of anxiety going back to school. And I think part of the anxiety is because we want to get better and better every single year. We raise the bar for ourselves with each new school year! So…How can you set yourself up to have your best school year yet? [Read more…]
Nothing sidelines an inquiry lesson like the need for control, nothing sours an engineering design project as fast as a fear of failure, and nothing curbs innovation and natural curiosity like perfectionism.
Control. Fear of failure. Perfectionism. I think we can all agree that these traits are opposite of the ones important for STEM learning—traits such as risk taking, failing forward, and stepping out of one’s comfort zone. But what if the person struggling with these traits isn’t a student but rather the teacher? [Read more…]
One of the most used books in my teaching library is “The Important Book” by Margaret Wise Brown. Have you read it? It’s simple – a repetitive format for identifying the important thing about a set of objects in life. But I’ve used it with students more times than I can count! Students got so good at writing “Important Poems” that we would even write these as a ticket out for the day’s lesson! But let’s switch the script and talk about how you can use this amazing book to be intentional, encouraging, and reflective. [Read more…]
While my coaching business is not a Christian coaching business, I am a Christ-follower, and as such, when teachers come to me who are of faith, we explore the role that their faith plays in their teacher life. The teachers I work with who have a strong sense of faith – Christian or otherwise – feel a deep and fulfilling sense of purpose in their lives. That’s why I’ve collaborated with Miss Tierraney to create a new community for teachers of faith called, Faith Driven Educators.