January 21, 2023
I remember being told these words early on in my teaching career. It had been a rough year with a rough group of kids. It was time to put in our intent letters (letters telling administration we want to stay at the school and subject for the next school year). I was contemplating leaving education and was venting to my mentor, seeking guidance and wisdom.
She told me there would always be years where the kids came to me behind academically and with life issues that were more important than the education I was trying to give them. I wasn’t going to solve their problems and I may not see them learning what I taught, let alone improving their test scores, but that wasn’t worth quitting over.
She said to come back anyway. The next group could be better, and would definitely be different. I could try new approaches and techniques and use what I learned in this difficult year to not only make me a better person and refine my own craft, but be a better person and teacher for the students coming to me and present learning in a different way.
I listened to what she said. I came back.
That next year, I was moved up 2 grades and had kids I had before that were so excited to be in my class again. It made a huge difference.
And I did try new techniques and refined my craft. Not only was I a better person, I was a better teacher and got to improve on what I’d started with students I already had a connection with.
Years later, I still apply this to my life–not only my career, but my hobbies and personal experiences, even relationships.
I even apply this to RV life and travel. If we have a bad experience, we figure out why and continue on. Even on the worst days, there is still more I want to see, do, share, experience, and accomplish.
I share this morsel of wisdom when I see someone having a bad day.
Some listen and have a similar experience. Some listen but nothing changes and they do eventually leave. Some don’t listen and leave anyway. I’m not responsible for what they do with it, but I’ve done my part in sharing this notion.
If you’re having a bad day, week, month or year, I hope this little nugget helps you persevere to a better time when you can make a decision based on the whole experience, not just a negative.
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