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Reflection and Goal Planning for Teachers

With all the talk of self-care for teachers during a year where teachers have less time than they’ve ever had to even think about themselves, let alone their self-care, I’m here to remind everyone that without you there will be no classroom, there will be no lesson, there will be no impact on your students. 

But even if we do recognize that self-care is necessary, it’s such a broad, even vague and relative term.  Logistically, what really is it? And how effective will it be? 

I am here to make the claim that there is no better form of self-care than to set goals for yourself and to work toward them.  It’s taking what we know about planning in our teacher-lives, that is that planning is best when we do it backwards - starting with the end in mind - and applying it to our lives. 

Because you know what, yes you’re worth it. 

Even if taking the time to do so means you’re a day later on grading those papers, answering...

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Sustainable Teacher Challenge

At the time this post will publish it is the Friday before a well-deserved Christmas break for teachers, and I'm hoping to get you excited for a little something we'll be doing over your break that will help you focus on you and your own sustainability in your career and personal life.

In my ten years of teaching, I was all too familiar with teacher-overwhelm, and this year has done nothing but heighten that tension and your to-do list.

So I would like to invite you to our 7-Day, totally free, Sustainable Teacher Challenge that will be starting on December 28th, 2020.

Sustainable Teacher Challenge

Each day of the challenge you will get:

  1. A training video from me- Mandy Rice - that will help you reflect, think, and plan intentionally around your own sustainability inside your classroom,
  2. A full workbook with reflection prompts and questions to help you plan for your sustainability in the new year that we'll focus on each day,
  3. Access to our private Facebook community where...
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Find Your Why as an Educator

This is the first blog of my new Sustainable Teacher series and I feel like the pressure is on, much like it is the first day of school when those first impressions with students mean EVERYTHING. Ok, that’s a bit dramatic, but I want you to know how important your time is to me. 

As a teacher I know what it is to feel like every single minute counts and that if you aren’t productive and effective in every single minute, then you simply won’t stay afloat.

Whether you thrive under that kind of pressure or not, I’m here in this first episode of my brand-new podcast to be super effective with your time so that you get key takeaways that impact your teacher-life and then you get to move on - whether that’s implementing those strategies or focusing on another aspect of life.

I’ll start with a story, one that may trigger some teacher memories for you.

I started college in Columbus, Ohio - shout out to all my Westerville peeps (I ended up...

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Teacher Hustle in 2020

Although I almost never do it, meaning I really should find the time to make it a habit, I find it so interesting to look back on my past creations or writing.  That's certainly the case when I read back on the Teacher Health Series we did before the COVID pandemic hit us in March, and although the world has seemingly turned inside out since the pandemic, the message of this post on teacher health, particularly the "hustle" culture of education, rings even more true today than it did when we first published it.

Check it out.

Teacher Health: The "Just Hustle" Culture of Education Today 

Welcome back to the Teacher Health series here at Teach On A Mission.  I'm so glad you decided to carve out some time to join me in this reflection and consideration of ways we can build up teachers and bring them a healthier lifestyle.

In last week's post, Part One of our Teacher Health series, I shared some details around the not-so-secret trend that's occurring in education...

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Teacher Health Revisited

At the time that this post will publish we are a day out from a well deserved break as we approach Thanksgiving.  Five days of no virtual or in-person school, no students to manage or lessons to plan.

And yet, many of us are looking at working at least one full day of break, if not most of the break.  We just have so much to catch up on, and, if we're honest, 5 days of a break is a good amount of time to get a head start on planning for the future so it's not so overwhelming when we're back in the classroom.

The truth is, as teachers, we can justify working until the cows come home.  We are doing important work not for the improvement of ourselves, but for that of our students.  And if we can make their education a well organized and well orchestrated experience then we are doing something right in the world.

For this reason, this week and in a few coming weeks we'll be focusing on the Teacher Health Series that we published earlier in the year, way back before...

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Teacher Wellness As It’s “Meant” To Be: The Mentor/Mentee Relationships

I'm so excited to welcome Danielle Johnson of EDverything Education to the Teach On A Mission Blog this week to chat with us about the mento/mentee relationship amongst teachers.  She takes us through 5 myths about that important dynamic and ways that we can redefine it so that the relationship truly serves those involved.

During a time when teacher self-care is a hot button topic in the education realm, because people say we need it and yet there's simply no time, this teacher-care topic could very much be crucial support system for teachers in our toughest times.

Here's Danielle.

Typically the conversation around teacher health and wellness is focused on you.  What you can do to set better boundaries.  How you can build and finally implement a daily routine that works.  What mindset shifts you should make to increase confidence.  These are all areas we can and should explore, which is why they’ve been featured here in the Teacher Health Series,...

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Flipping in a Blended Classroom

"I wish I had flipped my classroom a year ago."

Or, "I couldn't imagine this transition without having flipped my classroom first."

Both are statements I've heard from teachers who I've worked with to flip their classrooms.

2020 and teaching in a pandemic has certainly thrown us all for a loop.  No one could have predicted it or prepared for it, but it's certainly taught us two huge lessons in the education world...

1. An accessible classroom was no longer just a nice feature, it became a necessity. 

AND

2.  Building the plane while flying it is no way to teach kids or survive the experience as their teacher.  It's just not sustainable.

What I would like to propose though is that flipping the classroom has given some teachers an advantage in the huge transition that has been teaching in 2020.

But, here's the thing, that fact helps no one other than those who were already flipping.  So true.  But I'd like to show some ways we can take the basic...

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Virtual Teacher Series: One Spot

The list of lessons learned in 2020 is probably about a mountain high for most of us, and somewhere in the midst of it is all the skills and talents of managing the role of virtual teacher.  It truly is no small feat, and I hope that teachers aren’t the only ones who recognize that fact.

And that’s exactly why here at Teach On A Mission we wanted to do The Virtual Teacher Series.  So that we shine light on not only how tricky it all can be, but how so many teachers are rocking it (they may not describe it that way, but simply because they keep showing up, they are rocking it!).

From understanding your influence as a virtual teacher to reaching for more sustainable workflow to better systems of parent communication, we’ve touched on topics that I hope have brought value to your week and even your experience as a virtual teacher.

My hope for this week’s post is no different.

This week, in the last part of our Virtual Teacher Series, our focus is on a...

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Virtual Teacher Series: Parent Communication

“Hours!” she said.  “I spent HOURS on my Sunday afternoon grading just late work alone, and then you want to know what I had to do the rest of the week?”  I could almost guess what it was, “call parents” she said, exacerbated.  My teacher friend went on to explain how as it’s the end of the quarter and grades are due soon, it’s that time of the year that comes around four times per year to communicate to parents whose child is near or actually failing a course.

I squinted and turned my head to the side to lessen the blow of her answer as I asked, “how long did it take to contact parents?”

Three days after school until well past 5pm.

We’ve all been there.  We’ve all been in a place where something in our teaching lives is taking up way more hours than we want it to, or than is healthy.  Whether that’s because we’re new at it and haven’t developed the processes to make it...

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Virtual Teacher Series: A More Sustainable Workflow

*Welcome to the Virtual Teacher Series.  Be sure to check out week one and week two's posts**

Think back to your first year of teaching (for our first or second year teachers, just hang with me through this visualization).  Remember how incredibly energized and gung-ho you were for all things teaching (not that you aren’t that now, but let’s just say you’ve got a dash more wisdom to go with your energy levels).  If you were anything like me, you were a yes-man or woman.  And I don’t just mean that you said yes to every request to join all the committees or teams.  I mean that you said yes to every idea and resource you found.  Of course we all did this, we were fresh without a stocked bag of tips and tricks, we had to say yes to everything.

But, for many of us, we also said yes to everything we did with our students.  Yes to using that resource during our lecture, yes to the homework assignment that shouldn’t take that...

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