Sometimes the “F” Word Is All We Got

Teaching is hard. Let’s take a step back and be real. You cannot step in front of kids daily and be hitting the “that was easy” button. We have good moments during the day. As I look around and chat with teachers, I see fewer and fewer who are having good days. There may be moments during the day that may be considered “good”, but the remainder of the day feels like stepping on a rake and getting the handle to the face.

I rely on “F” words to help me survive. For better or worse … these “F” words help me make it as a teacher.

One of the first things we have to do is accept the fact your Administration nor your District is going to have all the answers. Their version of “help” is to give you training on the items they want you to learn so you can be a cog in their education box. Do not get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with this scenario as it will make you an efficient teacher inside the box that has been created for you.

When you’re feeling stuck and isolated in your classroom and you are not sure what to do … it may be time to locate some new Friends.

Being able to Find my voice was an important

Grit and perseverance do not just happen and if you are reading a book thinking it will give you all the answers you may be disappointed. 

I am here to take you on a journey … a journey that may help you survive this career.

We must understand that for the most part, we cannot rely on Administration or district folk to give us what we need to succeed in our careers. They will give us what we need to successfully implement the policy they set forth. Therein lies part of the problem. We are stuck in policy implementation mode and not really in professional growth mode.

One of the first things you need to do is FIND some FRIENDS. Sure making meaningful connections within your school building is important, remember, everyone in that building and your district are beating the same policy implementation drum. One of the easiest ways to find friends outside your district is by hitting Social Media platforms and doing a search for “Teacher” or “Education” and you will find plenty of teachers sharing what they do in their classrooms. The links will take you to Twitter, which has been my go-to social media platform. I am also active on Instagram and to a lesser extent LinkedIn and TikTok.

FORGIVE yourself. Forgiving oneself is important because it can help people let go of feelings of guilt, shame, and self-blame, and move forward with a greater sense of self-compassion and self-esteem. Holding onto feelings of guilt and self-blame can be toxic and have negative effects on mental health, relationships, and overall well-being. By forgiving themselves, people can increase their resilience and ability to cope with stress and challenges. We are NOT perfect teachers. We make mistakes. How we respond to those mistakes is what makes us better teachers.

Let go of your FEAR. Letting go of fear as a teacher can have several positive impacts on success in the profession. Some of these include:

  1. Increased creativity and innovation: When a teacher is not afraid to take risks and try new approaches, they are more likely to find new and effective ways to engage their students and help them learn.
  2.  Better relationships with students: Fear can create barriers and make it difficult to build meaningful relationships with students. Letting go of fear can help a teacher connect with their students in a more authentic and empathetic way, which can lead to increased engagement and motivation in the classroom.
  3.  Improved communication and collaboration: Teachers who are not held back by fear are better able to communicate their ideas and collaborate with colleagues, which can lead to more effective problem-solving and a more positive school environment.
  4.  Increased confidence and self-awareness: When a teacher lets go of fear, they become more confident in their abilities and more self-aware. This can result in improved performance and a greater sense of fulfillment in their work.

Ultimately, letting go of fear can help a teacher become more effective and successful in their role, and provide a more enriching experience for themselves and their students.

Have FUN. We have to find a way to bring some fun back into our teaching. I am not saying we need comedic relief in our classroom, but we need to find joy in what we do.

Connecting with other teachers on social media can bring several benefits to the profession:

  1. Professional Development: Social media provides teachers with access to a wealth of resources, including articles, videos, and discussions on best practices and new teaching methods. It also provides opportunities to connect with educational experts and thought leaders.
  2.  Collaboration and networking: Social media can be a valuable tool for teachers to collaborate and network with other educators, both locally and globally. This can lead to new ideas, resources, and support for the profession.
  3.  Increased sense of community: Connecting with other teachers on social media can help foster a sense of community and belonging. This can provide a source of support, encouragement, and inspiration for teachers, especially in challenging times.
  4.  Access to new technologies and resources: Social media is a great way for teachers to stay up-to-date with the latest technologies, tools, and resources that can be used in the classroom.
  5.  Opportunity for personal and professional growth: By connecting with other teachers on social media, teachers can broaden their perspectives and expand their knowledge, leading to personal and professional growth.

In conclusion, connecting with other teachers on social media can be a valuable tool for professional development, collaboration, and support, and can help teachers stay informed and inspired in their work.

There is a ton of information out there for the taking. We just have to be willing to take it. Then, you can bring it back to your school once you have it.

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