To most people 21 is a lucky number, and today for me it is the number of school days I have remaining in this school year. Most would be excited, I on the other hand am relieved.
It has been a rough year, and I have learned valuable lessons and made a few career decisions.
Lesson #1 – Keep a Paper Trail
Recently I have been struggling with issues involving my administration. I have learned that I need to keep track of all interactions that I have with them. If we have a discussion in a passing moment on campus, I send an email with “As per our conversation” or “Confirming the directions you gave me.” with the body to keep track of what I am told on one day vs. the next. I have fewer and fewer of those “I didn’t say that” moments, but at the same time there has been less and less conversations.
Lesson #2 – Keep the Core Strong
The teachers that I work with on a daily basis are some of the most amazing humans I have been lucky enough to know. They are resilient and dedicated to their students (which goes unnoticed by our administration) and in a time where we are struggling with our site leadership and district demands we still keep doing our job. It is the kids that drive us, and the question in the back of our brain “Why did you become a teacher?” Its either that or our lunchtime discussions of what alcohol would be good in the drinks we have in our lunches that day.
Lesson #3 – Find a Positive
All year long I have been telling my students in every situation they need to find a positive. There is good that can come out of everything. No matter how horrible it may seem, there is a positive. It has seemed to work with most of my students, and they have been able to find those little moments of happy when it seems to be an impossible moment. Just last week a student told me he was excited to have 1 question right on the quiz, because last time he earned a 0. Positivity works, and I hope these kids take that lesson with them to high school.
As for my career, if you can’t beat them – join them.
I made the decision to go back to school to work on my Administrative credential. I am not 100% sure if I will leave my classroom, but I want to be able to have educated discussions with my administration and have a background knowledge on the topic to know if my assumptions are right or wrong. I tell my kids all the time that words matter, that actions matter and I can no longer just sit by and not use my words or act. It is time for me to “put up” and prove that I am worthy.