I know, I know! It has been awhile since I have written a blog post. But I have no excuses! What I will say is that I could not let today pass by without announcing that it is the RenewED Teacher’s 2nd Blogiversary!
Yes, two years ago, on this day, I decided to start a blog. I wanted to share how I overcame burnout and overcame the urge to quit teaching, not once but twice within a seven year span. I still want to share this, as I have since learned that practicing self-care and staying committed to your passion and purpose takes balanced, consistent and daily work.
I have discovered two ideas that have helped me stay committed to remaining in the classroom! The first is being intentional about self-care. When I say self-care, I don’t only mean surface level interventions such as manicures, pedicures, working out, spending time with friends and family, getting enough rest, and dressing nice, although these do help. I also mean going deep, and dealing with why we are the way we are and dealing with financial debt, childhood trauma, systemic racism, and every other non-sexy aspect of life that can impact us negatively. Self-care is about getting to the root of improving the quality of one’s life–one’s overall wellness. Self-care can be fun, but it also takes some under the surface, hard work. In my humble opinion, I feel it is the number one way to overcome burnout. As an educator, I often ask myself, if I am not at my best, how can I expect the best from my scholars?
The second idea is focusing on why I teach–my passion and purpose meeting. In his book, “Start with Why,” Simon Sinek says, “all organizations start with WHY, but only the great ones keep their WHY clear year after year.” I want my scholars to be great, so it’s important for me to work to be great! Keeping my why at the forefront of what I do, has helped me persevere and overcome the urge to quit teaching when I had disheartening
days, wild weeks, and yucky years. I’m sure many of you can relate to this. Candidly speaking, I am sure the urge to quit teaching would have sneakily crept upon me again this year if I had not taken the time to regularly remember and reflect on my why. I was challenged as if I was novice, and many days, I felt like one. (I also have had the pleasure of working with some really amazing teachers in Western PA and across the country that have supported and inspired me. Y’all know who you are!!! If you’re wondering if I am talking about YOU, you’re right, I am!).
Speaking of reflection though, as I think about the the last year, and what my goals were for the RenewED Teacher, I realize that I have not hit them! I started a Teacher Book Club that was a flop because I couldn’t keep up with reading the book and being an active moderator of the group. I was unsure of how to keep the group members engaged and accountable for reading and responding to the topics of each chapter. I was inconsistent. I was completely overwhelmed with the changes in my new school building. It seems I bit off more than I could chew. I am not sure I will renew this goal. The beginning of the school year is definitely not a good time to begin a teacher book club.
Another goal was to share blog posts about math content. I have several drafts and pictures ready to use, but none of them are ready to go live. I am renewing this goal!
However, I am leery about setting new goals because sometimes goals define limitations. But as in all of my blog posts, I aim to continue to learn and grow, and always urge my readers to do the same, so we can empower our students to commit to lifelong learning! If I do not set goals, I may allow lack of belief in myself, the wrong unintended goal, past failures, fear, lackadaisicalness, my personal comfort zone, and the need for instant gratification to hold me back from learning and growing. I can’t help but think how this will impact my scholars. Therefore, I do intend to set goals despite past failures and fear vying to collaborate against me.
This blog has helped me stay committed to education and teaching! I hope somewhere out there, this blog has also motivated, encouraged, inspired and empowered other educators and teachers!
As I enter my 12th year of teaching this year, I shout, Happy Blogiversary!
Stay tuned for the RenewED Teacher’s goals for year 3!
Until then, Happy Teaching!
Krystal L. Smith, The RenewED Teacher