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Celebrate You!

I just returned from a trip from frigid Milwaukee, Wisconsin, after conducting a great half-day program with a group of private school teachers and administrators.

First of all, being a native Floridian, it still baffles me why people actually “choose” to live north of the Mason Dixon line. It’s beyond my comprehension. But I digress.

We discussed “stress," its impact on the classroom teacher, and how to alleviate it. Obviously, you see why we needed a half-day program just to “address” the topic.

As I continue to travel, I’m discovering new challenges and obstacles that can literally suck the life out of a teacher. So I won’t even begin to list the number of “stress creators” in our profession.

Instead, I wanted to drop you a quick note on an idea to help you reduce the stress in your life – even if it’s only for a little while.

 

...continued

 

Hello Difference Maker,

I just returned from a trip from frigid Milwaukee, Wisconsin, after conducting a great half-day program with a group of private school teachers and administrators.

First of all, being a native Floridian, it still baffles me why people actually “choose” to live north of the Mason Dixon line. It’s beyond my comprehension. But I digress.

We discussed “stress," its impact on the classroom teacher, and how to alleviate it. Obviously, you see why we needed a half-day program just to “address” the topic.

As I continue to travel, I’m discovering new challenges and obstacles that can literally suck the life out of a teacher. So I won’t even begin to list the number of “stress creators” in our profession.

Instead, I wanted to drop you a quick note on an idea to help you reduce the stress in your life – even if it’s only for a little while.

Try this: At least once a grade term, after the last student leaves your classroom (or office, if you’re an administrator), secure the door, and stand in front of your desk. After you do that, grab at least two sheets of paper (it doesn’t matter what type). Begin tearing up the paper in tiny little pieces like confetti. And make sure you hold every piece in your hand without dropping a single piece on the floor.

Then, I want you to close your eyes and make the following speech (it’s okay to paraphrase) with as much sincere enthusiasm as you can muster:

“Drum roll please! So to the winner of the this year’s ‘Teacher of the Year Award’ and the greatest educator on the planet, who’s been overworked, underpaid, overstressed, and underappreciated for the last time – then say YOUR name.”

Then throw those small pieces of paper high into the air, and cheer, scream, shout, and do a little dance right there in front of your desk. If you want to shed a tear or two for dramatic effect, go right ahead and do it. The more emotion you can use the better.

Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re saying, “Joe, that’s crazy.” You might be right, but do you know I’ve won this prestigious award for the last 15 years in a row! What a teaching career! And I’m a finalist for it again this year; can you believe that?

See, I don’t believe, as teachers, we should wait to be acknowledged or receive a pat on the back for our hard work, especially when we have a voice of our own and our hands can reach our own backs.

You may think I’m crazy, but I believe “I’m called”...called to teach. I believe the only “crazy people” are the ones who choose to do this profession for the “wrong reasons” and can’t find a way to have fun while they’re doing it.

So lighten up, and don’t take yourself (or this job) so seriously. Look for the “funny” in things and celebrate yourself. As always, teach with passion, and practice what you teach.

 

Posted by: Professor Joe Martin • 2008 /03 /30 • Discuss This Entry (13) Permalink

 


 

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