Monday, August 26, 2013

Brave Change- Year 10!

Today started my tenth year of teaching. It's crazy to think I have almost put a decade of my life into this sometimes mentally exhausting career, but I still believe it has to be one of the most rewarding things someone can do with their life.  I'm excited to start this year; I'm ready for change and new beginnings.

One of the great things about being a teacher is you get a fresh start every year to work towards something better than the year before. I imagine in any job, just as in life, we fall into routines, bad habits, and do things that are comfortable but maybe not always the best way to do them because as much as we don't want to admit it it's easier to do the same thing wrong than put in the effort to make a change for the better sometimes. As a teacher once you've hit that dead of winter, dragging through the days on low energy and ambition, it's kind of like that sometimes. I'm like an old dog too tired to learn and implement new tricks, but after a relaxing refreshing summer vacation it's like I'm an excited puppy again ready to try some new tricks of the trade.

Last year for me was probably the toughest year for me. I hit burnout. I started to recognize it for what it was probably about March. I guess after nine years of doing the same thing, I learned from talking to others this was rather typical. I'm guessing I will probably hit it again sometime, but I'm hoping it's somewhere after the twenty year mark. I am someone that has always enjoyed working and has always believed strongly in the fact that you spend too much of your life working to waste it unhappy with what you are doing. I was having a strong internal conflict of values going on at the end of last year, and I was bound and determine to take control of my burnout problem. Along with all the changes out of my control that came to my school and education in general this year, I put several other changes in place for myself with the projects and commitments I decided to pick up at work, along with some adaptations at home to help put me in a more positive mindset. I am set on kicking burnout to the curb. Occasionally I worry that I went a little overboard with all that I took on to create change for myself, along with everything that was out of my control, but as anxious as I am about change sometimes because it is an adjustment that usually takes hard work, I've always been someone that's welcomed change too.

Our education system nationwide is going through some major changes to bring in what's called the common core. Along with the common core curriculum is also a new teacher evaluation system. I think both of these things can be great changes for the education of our country. However, change takes work and lots of time. We are human-the leaders, parents, teachers, students-and we are going to make mistakes and it's not going to be perfect. But what I fear is people wish for immediate results and when they don't get them, they quit the effort. But in any of these roles as long as we're willing to listen, learn from one another, and grow we're moving in the right direction.

Our motivational song for the year has been "Be Brave." Too many times we fear change; even if it's a change we need. We stick with what we're comfortable with for fear of the unknown that comes with change. But we (teachers, students, and our nation's education in general) can't grow and be better unless we change. Change is scary but this is the year of braving change.

I'm ready. Are you?

This is a great video. If you're in education I hope you watch it. Be Brave


1 comment:

  1. My mother in law had a lot of problems with burn out right before she retired. She taught for 40 years. The last ten years she told me it took a lot more effort than the first 30 :) I hope you have a great school year this year!