Sunday, July 29, 2012

Remember the Why

Throughout my first year, I heard lots of these type of questions from other teachers (and my parents and friends and boyfriend)-
  • Why do you get here so early?
  • Why do you stay so late?
  • Why do you care so much?
  • Why are you trying so hard?
This was really discouraging.  Why wouldn't I be doing those things?  Why shouldn't I care so much?  But as the year went on, I started to let these questions get to me.  Why was I staying so late?  Why was I trying so hard?  February seemed like the longest month ever, and I was worn out.  Were all of my efforts really making a difference or was I killing myself for nothing?

Towards the end of the year as I was getting my room ready for testing, I took down all of the pictures my students had drawn me throughout the year that I'd hung up around my desk.  I put all of these drawings and notes in slipcovers and kept them all in a binder on my shelf.  Students noticed me doing this, and continued to bring me letters and drawings asking if I would put them in the binder too.  On the last day of school, I got to add many more to the binder.  When several of my kids cried telling me bye that day, I came full circle back to my why. 

Going into this year, I know there will be days that I'm in "just get through today" mode and others that I'm the passionate, positive teacher I want to be.  For those less motivated days, I've created a folder on my desktop with things to remind me of my why-  essays I wrote during college, answers to application questions, youtube videos, TED talks, blog posts, etc.

Does anyone else have these days?  What do you do to remind yourself of your "why"?

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