This year, things seem busy. Busier than ever (maybe I always say that?). The demands in the classroom are never ending and what the outside world asks of teachers and schools continues to grow. Let's be honest. This job could be easy if you phoned it in; but you don't, we don't, because you and me are the real deal -- we are educators who believe in our core that every student, every class, every minute counts. This pressure to do it all can cause teachers, to focus on what isn't working, to hone in on the problems, and approach burn out. Right when I am about to leap full force into what I think of as a "massive cavern of teacher stress," I take a moment to mindfully focus on the positives of the job; why it all matters. This mental checklist is literally part of my internal dialogue. It keeps burnout at bay. Trust me, if you don't have one -- you need one that's personal to your life and your teaching. So here's my Why I am Thankful to Be a Teacher Mental Checklist. I use it. Every Single. Day.
I love my job and wouldn't choose any other profession in the world because:
1) I am making a true, real difference in people's lives. I may not see the fruits of my labor but I know that out there are + 1000 people that I have taught not only about social studies but about how to be better students and better people. I am changing the world one student at a time. It's my superpower.
2) I can be creative all the time. I can create lessons, simulations, ideas, blogs, presentations etc.
3) No two days are the same. I am never bored. EVER.
4) I work with amazing people -- people who value doing good and making a difference. over making a ton of money. They are my squad!
5) I laugh. Man, this job is funny. My students make me laugh with them every single day.
6) I get a ton of exercise. I am on my feet, on the go constantly.
7) Collaboration feeds my soul. I am a people person -- I thrive on interaction. This job recharges me.
8) My own kids (as in my personal children) think I don't really have a job because my hours match theirs. I greet them at the bus every afternoon (and still manage to do my work effectively). It isn't easy, but I have them fooled.
9) Just as no day is the same. No year is the same. There are always new students, new colleagues, new parents, new challenges, new connections. Change is good.
10) I get to stay current with all things "teenage." Sure, I am not cool in their eyes, but all in all I am more current than a lot of people I know.
11) I work in a place with a library! How lucky is that?
12) When I walk down the smile, I always try to smile big and make eye contact with kids. The repayment: smiles and hellos from my students.
13) In what other job do you get sweet, heartfelt notes from kids? It warms my heart and never, ever gets old.
14) Snowdays. Winter Break. Summer. Spring Break... and my favorite break of all because it comes when we all need it more than ever...Thanksgiving!
15) In this work, I am never alone. I am always surrounded by love, support, and energy on my good days and on my bad days.
So what's on your mental checklist? We'd love to hear from you.
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