Every year, I like to write a post about what I am thankful for, and I also like to encourage my students to write down the people and things for which they are thankful, as well.
5 Things I'm Thankful For This Year
#5 Google Classroom
This software, and my students' willingness to use it, in conjunction with email, has been a huge time saver for me. It's enabled me to communicate with my students outside of the classroom, and provide them everything they need to complete work they missed. Instead of scrambling between classes or on my plan, I invest my time on the front-end making sure that all assignments are online and linked in Classroom. Students can then login at their leisure to see what we're working on, or complete assignments. Some students have even completed assignments ahead of time.
#4 Wise Colleagues
I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with wise and caring colleagues every year I've been a teacher. As a relative newbie to the field, I quickly learned that having colleagues to work with, commiserate with, problem-solve with, and laugh with is one of the keys to a successful school year. Some of the best teachers I've worked with in each of my schools has been the librarian, who is a fount of wisdom, as they know all the students, and the teachers in the special education department. If you're a new teacher, get to know, like, and trust these people. Working with them will enable you to do a better job, which will only help your students succeed.
#3 Supportive Administration
Last year, I wrote a post asking “Am I Going To Survive As A Teacher?” One of the keys to motivating teachers mentioned at a Leadership Academy led by Dr. Bobby Moore is getting rid of the carrots and sticks. Some administrators — and bosses outside of education, for that matter — seem to think that if employees are constantly angry, fearful for their jobs, or thrown off balance as often as possible, than they will work better. This could not be further from the truth.
As Dr. Moore stated, employees will work harder for bosses they like. Likewise, teachers will work harder for principals and administrators who treat them as professionals, who believe in what they are doing, who support them in tough situations, and who offer sincere advice on how to improve. It also helps if those same administrators say what they mean, and mean what they say.
I have taught in schools where they only time you ever heard from a parent is at the end of the semester when their student had flunked, or if they perceived a problem. I have also taught in schools where parents checked in on their students regularly, while at the same time supporting the educational process.
While teaching has its ups and downs — just like learning — I am blessed to have to opportunity to see young people learn and grow. As teachers, we must remember that the students are why we do what we do. I am so thankful for those students who come to school ready to learn every day, and I'm so thankful for those students who come to school needing more, because it's those students for whom we can make the most difference.
You can see my previous entries here:
I am a secondary English Language Arts teacher, a University of Oklahoma student working on my Master's of Education in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum with an concentration in English Education, and a NBPTS candidate. I am constantly seeking ways to amplify my students' voices and choices.