Hang in there — teaching can be tough!

I love someecards no matter what the topic of their hilarity is, but when it comes to their teacher quotes, I roll on the floor laughing. The reason? Because they are so true. This profession is incredibly tough, demanding, tiring, unappreciated, and we often have a love-hate relationship with it. Things as simple as using the restroom become a luxury for us.  It can be a lot to handle, and I’ve had times in my career where I really let the annoyances cloud my viewpoint. Take these tips to keep your chin up, a smile on your face or perhaps a sentimental tear on your cheek, and reflect on the passion and purpose of educating our most important resource: our children.

Laugh

In the spirit of someecards, never forget to laugh.  If you don’t laugh in this profession, you’ll cry… and I don’t mean a gentle tear falling type of cry, I mean a punching bag face, really ugly cry (#beentheredonethat). Hilarious things happen every single day in the classroom. Often we are too overwhelmed with new mandates, Johnny wetting his pants in the corner, or Susan throwing a tantrum at her seat, to stop and appreciate the funny little moments in our days. Whether it’s something a colleague says that makes you chuckle, a funny retort from a student, or searching out a source of humor online like someecards, relish in the moment and have a giggle. Check out the entire collection of teacher-themed someecards and save this link for a rainy (or should I say tear-filled) day in the future!

 

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Inspire

Sometimes we need a gut-wrenching, tear-jerking reality check to remind us about why we entered this crazy profession to begin with and the difference we are truly making each and every day.  Whether we realize it or not, we are inspiring people every day. Sometimes we need the same in return. Personally, I’m a sucker for inspirational quotes. Reading the words of great figures seems to erase any irritating comments from parents, frustrating moments with students, or exhausting district red tape that I have dealt with on any given day. Check out the 50 Most Inspirational Quotes for Teachers. You are certain to find one, or ten, or 50 that bring a smile to a face and a tear to your eye!

Watch videos

My friend and fellow blogger, Erin Klein, wrote a fantastically uplifting Scholastic Top Teaching blog post on 9 Videos to Make Teachers Laugh, Cry, and Feel Inspired! Any time I can refer to something that’s teacher-tested-and-approved I go for it. If you need uplifted, check out her post and the videos within. Edutopia also put out a great list of 20 Movies Every Educator Should See. Some of my favorites are on that list and I want to curl up on my couch with a blanket and waste a few hours watching them right now!

What’s MY favorite inspirational teacher video? Kid President’s Pep Talk to Teachers and Students! I adore this kid, and his video pep talk both made me laugh and cry.

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Read

I’m going to be honest, I’m so busy that I often don’t have time to read as much as I would like to. If I can get a book (leisure or professional) on audio, it’s a huge bonus (since I commute 45 minutes each way daily). When I am selecting a book to read, I’m extremely persnickety. I want it to be worth my time and be something that makes a true impact. Thanks to Hope King’s posts about working at the infamous Ron Clark Academy (RCA) and Cara Carroll’s (#teachercrushes) recommendation, I think I’ve found my inspirational book pick for right now: Crash Course: The Life Lessons My Students Taught Me, by Kim Bearden. I have major teacher crushes on both of these educators/bloggers and respect their talents. If they recommend something, I know it’s going to be great.

What Hope has documented about her time at RCA has been amazingly innovative and inspirational, and makes me long to go visit this incredible educational institution. Cara says the book is “heartfelt, inspiring, and amazing.” She states very personally that this book found her at a time when she was questioning everything about her profession, and couldn’t have showed up at a better moment. I am going to order this book and keep it on hand for the moment I am doing my own teacher-sole-searching. I know Kim’s words will comfort, inspire, and even challenge me…and we all need that every now and again as teachers!

Be grateful

Last, but certainly not least, when you’re frustrated with a lesson you’ve taught, losing your mind because it’s the 6th week in a row without outdoor recess due to extreme snow, or downtrodden after an upsetting parental encounter, take a moment to be thankful. Say what?! Yes, be thankful. Even when things seem their worst, there’s always someone or something to be grateful for. Doing so clears your head, brings about positive thoughts, and helps you rise above the daily drudge that can often creep up. Even on the worst day, if you are thankful to have the privilege and pleasure to teach our nation’s youth and make a difference, you will rise above and remember why education is your true calling!