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Don’t Get Teacher Amnesia

by Professor Joe Martin

Maybe it’s just me, but does it seem like teaching can speed up the aging process sometimes? When people watch me interact with students, they typically ask, “How old are you?” My response is usually, do you want my age in years or “teaching years?”

Although teaching can put years on our body, I believe teaching also makes us young at heart. But it’s difficult to remember the “blessings” of teaching when you’re constantly bombarded with the “burdens” of teaching. I call this affliction, “teacher amnesia.”

It particularly attacks new and beginning teachers around their third or fourth year. The symptoms are usually restless nights, self doubt, insecurity, and flashes of depression. And unfortunately “Airborne” doesn’t cure it.




Though I’m somewhat making light of it, this illness is very serious, thus the reason I’m addressing it in this article. As you start or finish this school year, I want you to take a minute to “count” your blessings, instead of “dis-counting” them.

Before you go home, either to exhale some stress or inhale some food, ask yourself this question: When it comes to teaching, what can I be thankful for this year? And I don’t just want you to look at the good, I also want you to evaluate the “bad.” Sometimes there are hidden blessings in our burdens. So I want you to dig really deep.

It’s like my Mama always said, “You may not always get what you want in life, but thank God you don’t always get what you deserve either.” Think about that for a moment.

So as you continue this trek towards the “No Child Gets Left Behind Promise Land,” don’t forget the most important thing…the journey (and the lives you impact along the way). Remember to teach with passion and practice what you teach!


Joe Martin is an award-winning national speaker, author, professor, and educational consultant. His mission is to help students, teachers, and administrators learn, lead, and live with purpose and passion. To find out more visit his web site at


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