Renewing Your Spark
7/10/2018 7:29:00 AM by: Joetta M. Schneider, NBCT

Photo by Cristian Escobar on Unsplash

Listen while I tell you two things you already know: Teachers spend the final weeks of their school year daydreaming about how things will be different next year. They spend the first one or two weeks of summer vacationing or maybe cleaning closets – at least if they aren’t spending the first few weeks of their summer taking classes or workshops to get ready for next year.  So there you have it— the teacher life. Thinking about teaching, frantically trying to forget about teaching and keeping promises to their families and themselves, and then thinking about teaching again. 

It’s a good life, really.  Education offers us the opportunity to grow continually and to reinvent ourselves from year to year.  I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but teachers often seem younger than their real ages.  That’s because we are exposed to new trends all the time.  For me, I noticed right away when I needed to consider not getting a perm any more— curly was “out” and flat irons were “in” and I asked a student how to make it work with my bangs (before bangs were sooooo “out.”) I tried the New Girl bangs but they didn’t look that great on me.  Point being— one of the perks of teaching is that we are constantly exposed to new ideas by our students! Yes, the teaching and learning go both directions and that, my fellow teacher geeks, is an awesome opportunity.

Teachers are always aware of new video game trends, like Fortnite because they want to use them to their advantage in hooking their students into learning.  I know of teachers who developed science lessons based on water bottle flipping, too.  Have you considered using the concept of an escape room next year? Go for it!

Some teachers might say that the needs of the students are overwhelming, but don’t despair.  The moments you spend with these students are enough if that’s all you have to give.  Give hugs, give a listening ear, and give a few moments of fun and joy in the learning.  Give yourself the opportunity to be creative (and Pinterest-y) choose to rejuvenate yourself as a teacher. Don’t forget to enjoy your own hobbies outside the classroom. One teacher took up running as a hobby and lost 120 pounds! That wasn’t me, by the way, I took up running and laid it back down. What I have done is start walking my dog every day; he brings me joy!  I’ve started watercolor painting, too.  You know, in my spare time! And that means the time I’m learning to make for myself… that means learning to get work done on my planning time. That means taking advantage of teaching and learning apps as well as apps that grade themselves so I can enjoy more connectivity with the students. 

So enjoy life and learn to floss. No, I mean, Floss.





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Meryle Hirotsu From Hawaii At 7/12/2018 1:43:01 PM

Joetta, I am considering renewing my NBC in mathematics in 2018-2019. I have been retired and working on my PhD regarding the NBC process and how it has changed teachers' teaching practices. I will be going back into the classroom in August to work on renewing my NBC. Thank you for your help.

Reply by: Joetta

That is so wonderful, Merlye! We hope to keep adding resources.

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