Monday, August 18, 2014

Greatness (My Plan to Reclaim my Teaching Mojo)

On Wednesday, one hundred sixty-one new faces will come through my classroom door.  As always, I am nervous, excited, and eager to meet each of them.  This year, I feel more energized than ever before to begin a new school year, and it’s not because I spent time relaxing this summer.  I have been busy with technology conferences, new textbooks and new state standards for my classes, my own classes as I seek my building level administration license, and my husband and two growing boys.  No, this summer was anything but relaxing.

What is my secret, you ask?  It’s simple, really.  I have committed to this being the best school year I have ever had.  I’m going to work my hardest to make this vision a reality, and I plan to seek out all the help I can get along the way.  Fortunately, I work with some dynamic teachers and administrators already.  I’m also fairly new to Twitter, but I have found excellent ideas and resources from top educators around the world, all willing to share free of charge, day or night.

I just finished reading Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess, a book teachers both in person and on Twitter can’t stop talking, and for good reason.  Reading his book inspired me to seek out the best school year and make it happen.  Burgess asks us, “Do you want to be great?”  He points out that many educators feel uncomfortable responding yes to this question.  They falsely believe that their being great is somehow selfish or that their greatness diminishes the greatness of others.  Well, Mr. Burgess, I’m not uncomfortable.  I will freely admit I want to be great, the best teacher I can be.  This year, I am committed to achieving as much greatness as possible.  I will actively seek out greatness.

I’ve always been committed to greatness, but I have been side-tracked by other demands the last couple of years. Two years ago, I left my job of six years teaching French and occasionally English to take a new position teaching English full-time in my home district.  While this change of schools had always been the ultimate goal, conditions of this particular transition were less than ideal.  I was hired on a Friday, and school started the next Monday.  And I was six months pregnant!  I made the best of the year, but it was the most difficult year I have had.  Last year was better, but I still didn’t quite feel like my old self, my foreign language teacher self in the classroom.  This year, I will reclaim my greatness, the creative and inspired teacher I was before all that craziness.  I will do it because my greatness is not just best for me, but it’s best for my students.  They deserve to have me at my greatest and for me to give them my all.

Are you inspired to strive for greatness?  What do you do to be the best teacher you can be?