As I’m sitting to write this episode, I’m in an approximately six square feet space in the cab of our pick up truck pulling our camper on our way home from our Christmas vacation with three boys and our dog. I’m reflecting on what was by far our best camper-trip yet as it was at the beginning of winter and was full of sunshine which we Midwesterners aren’t used to in December.
It was a great refresh.
But you know what I thought about quite a bit? Work.
Not in a way that was stifling to my or our enjoying the trip. Not at all. We just had a lot of relaxation time. And that meant my mind was able to wonder and think and plan.
And it reminded me of how I was with my classroom when on a break or vacation.
When I was able to step back from it, I was able to think about it in a clearer way. I was able to work on my classroom rather than in my classroom.
Today I’m asking you the question, in a very non-rhetorical way,...
Hey teacher-friend, welcome back to the Sustainable Teacher, I’m so glad you decided to tune in today, and oh boy do I have an episode for you. In this episode I am introducing you to none other than my main-man and husband, Dr. Bill Rice.
I’m excited to bring him on not just because he’s my husband but also because he is an administrator - he is a high school principal at a school about 15 minutes down the road from us, and today he is offering a wonderful perspective. Well, two perspectives actually, on what it is to be a sustainable teacher, and that is from a principal’s role and the role of a teacher’s spouse.
My goal in interviewing Bill is not so that we can say, “see this is what you should be doing” to either our principals or our spouses, but so that teachers can see that your sustainability is what’s most important, next to being effective with kids, and that the classroom atmosphere and overarching learning...
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...
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.
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,...
From ways to avoid the teacher hustle to how to make a big shift in your evaluation conversation, we've covered a few novel ways to prioritize teacher health in this series. My sincerest hope is that in these five posts, which are concluding with this one, you've found nuggets of information or easy techniques to implement in order to put yourself first for a change without sacrificing your effectiveness in the classroom.
Perhaps your biggest allies in ensuring your teacher health are also the ones who might just threaten it the most... your students.
I mean that last statement in the most positive way possible - your students are who you show up for everyday. Supporting them is the reason you entered this career field, right? So let's support them in ways that allow you to better support more of them. And we do that by empowering students inside the walls of your classroom.
When I think about and picture what causes teacher stress, I see the...
My first evaluation (more like my first ten evaluations) as a new teacher was probably the most terrifying day of my life. I am blessed that although I'm a sweater (I sweat frequently #tmi), I don't normally sweat through - ew! But, on that day, I definitely did - as if I wasn't feeling self-conscious enough already.
Man, that's a word that will make your tuchus pucker any day of the week.
It's loaded with emotion, and teachers generally don't have the fondest of memories tied to that word.
Which is unfortunate, because it could very much be a valuable learning tool for teachers and administrators alike. If you have valuable experiences around your classroom observations and evaluations I am super happy for you. I have mostly good experiences, but nothing overly enlightening or inspiring.
Until a couple years ago when I was chatting with a colleague friend after my post-observation meeting. I told our lunch crew all about...
Hey there and thanks so much for returning to our little world here at Teach On A Mission for our series on Teacher Health.
This week, we're back for the conversation, this time continuing the necessity of being candid. There's no need to complain or what some perceive as only focusing on the negative. No, that's not our goal or purpose in developing this series. It's about having the candid and necessary conversations about teacher health so that we can empower teachers and keep them in the classroom longer.
This week I'll be starting back with our weekly Live conversations on Facebook - be sure to check those out on our page. The drive behind the Facebook lives is that we have the conversations that are so necessary to get teachers in the right mindset, allowing...
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 today... teachers not entering the field in the first place and teachers leaving the field once they get there.
I believe that this exit of teachers en masse is largely due to the unsustainable, super-human pace that's necessary to be effective and a "good" teacher.
This week I'm going to start by sharing a little secret of mine. One that, now that I think about it, I don't think I've even mentioned this to my husband.
It's not a dirty secret, per say, but it's one that reveals my flawed perception of the teaching field when I first entered it and, therefore, the larger, collective...
It’s the new year; gym memberships have soared through the roof, everyone under the sun has some kind of personal fitness goal that they are striving toward as a New Year’s resolution, so I thought I might contribute to that conversation.
The contribution won’t be about personal, physical health - although I'm totally game for a competition on my Apple watch - but instead about teacher health in general.
Over the next few weeks, five to be exact, I’ll be exploring a few topics that all have something to do with how we can improve teacher health. And what I mean by teacher health is a teacher's overall well-being including and especially their mental health as determined by things like time management skills, daily routines, mindset, and the small, seemingly insignificant choices we make on a regular basis that are contributing to poor teacher health as a whole.
Let me be more specific - what I mean by teacher health is small ways teachers can...