I realize that many of my "digital colleagues" are heading back to school this week. Here in New England however summer is just about halfway through. I saw a quote recently on social media that said, "For Teachers August is one long Sunday night." Although it was humorous, and I suppose somewhat true, I prefer a different quote to describe the month. American author Sam Keen once said, "Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability." I love August despite it sweltering heat. The sun feels warmer, the flowers smell sweeter. Hazy mornings move into lazy afternoons to read and recharge. Evenings begin to take on a slightly brisk feeling that hints at falls impending return. It is in August each year that I renew my deep love for the teaching profession.
I begin to dream up new lessons, pick up odds and ends for my room and redesign my scope and sequence. I read novels and magazine articles, help books and blogs to hone my craft. I get excited about the new students I will be interacting with throughout the year, and I wonder how my past students are doing. Although the days seem to move at a leisurely pace, they are filled with preparations for the coming year- just not in the crunched time frame that often takes place in education. No, this is on my time, and my mind has the luxury to wander away for a bit before returning to the task at hand with no repercussions to getting things done.
I love my job, I am a happy teacher. However, it is easy to love my job in August, in the summer. It is easy to be happy in the summer. I know however that throughout the year there will be times that will test this. I know that many of my colleagues have become disillusioned over the years, feeling that they fight the good fight each day, but don't always find the sense of contentment in their jobs that they once did. Perhaps my digital colleagues are feeling this way too. Maybe not now, when the year is shiny and new, but come January or March perhaps you will have a downtrodden day and forget what it is to be a happy teacher.
With that in mind I've tried to put together some of the best ways I've found to be happy in teaching. We spend a lot of time thinking of how to make our student's experiences the best they can be, ultimately how to have happy, healthy, enthusiastic students in our classrooms. Yet so often we forget that in order for our students to get the best experience, we need to be our best selves. We need to be happy. So for the next few days, I will be posting on what it is to be a happy teacher, not just in August, not just when the year is fresh, but each and every day. I'll be sharing some things that have helped me, and hope that you share some too!
Are you a happy teacher? Share some love with your digital colleagues! How can we all be happier? #happyteacher!
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