And yet, as teachers, we are often intense, stressed out and feeling a crazy sense of urgency in our day to day work. I have seen colleagues lamenting that they can never do enough…never catch up…feeling defeated. This pressure often comes from administration or supervisors with expectations to demonstrate data-driven decisions, to set the bar high, to meet all students’ needs with differentiation…to test, retest, monitor, analyze.
The pressure also comes from within. We are often our own worst critics. We create intensity for ourselves as we push more to get it all done…and done well in a day. The emails start to pile up, the files need to be reviewed, test scores are declining, student behaviors are off the charts. What are we to do?
The bottom line is that we ARE life changers. We CAN make a difference in the life of a child by our actions…the question is…are we choosing the right actions?
The stress and pressure we feel – or that we place on ourselves – is bound to show up as we move throughout our days. Our students see it, our colleagues see it, our family and friends see it. How can we change that? How can we bring joy back into education? I just bet that students would learn more from teachers that are calm, loving, encouraging and patient. We need to change the way we think…and the way we speak to others. We need to bring back a little fun! We need to affirm and inspire. We need to exert our energy on the things that matter.
If I was waiting in an operating room, I would not want my surgeon to arrive frantic, anxious, over-stressed…I would want him to be calm, focused, and positive. Is that too much to ask? Shouldn’t we arrive in our classrooms calm, focused and positive?
As educators, the issues will remain. We will continue to be challenged. Yet our response is up to us. The choice is ours…we CAN choose to be life changers.