As I’m writing this blog post, I feel uninspired. It’s not the beginning of the school year any more. At my school, we’re in week 3. The new clothes are worn, the expectations taught, the copy room already a cluttered mess. I’m neck deep in assessments, co-workers are feeling the strain of a new curriculum, and stress builds with a new (to some) evaluation system.
Don’t get me wrong. This is not depths-of-despair-mid-March.
The theme at our building this year is Inspiration. As your year pushes past new and fresh, where do you find inspiration? Here are a few ideas:
- Great Teachers
If you want to feel proud to be in a noble profession, check out NPR’s 50 Great Teachers series. These are teachers of many topics from many backgrounds doing great things for kids. To read about passion and commitment is inspiring to me.
- Social Media
If you’re in a funk and need some great ideas, join a Twitter chat. The ones I participate in are on Sunday nights from 7-8 PM (Pacific time). The #wateachlead covers a range of topics, different each month. If you are on TPEP this year, the #tpepchat offers great ideas from others experiencing the same evaluation.
Make sure you are following @PSESD on Twitter. To participate, you’ll need a Twitter account, which you can create for free at Twitter.com. The moderator posts questions to get the discussion flowing, and get people talking! Make sure to use the hashtag #WATeachLead at the end of each tweet so your opinions are included in the discussion.
For more information about Twitter chats, check this out.
If you are new to Twitter, and feel panicky about joining a chat, it’s ok. I’ve spent a few chats just ‘lurking’ (Twitterese for reading what everyone else writes but not worrying about typing anything in).
- Inspirational Quotes
This is not my usual go-to for inspiration. I sometimes find inspirational quotes (especially those daily ones that can clutter your inbox) nauseating. However, since Inspiration is the theme of my school, I decided to dedicate 2 bulletin boards to inspirational quotes. You can see some of them here. I hope to add more as I find more tidbits of inspiration throughout the year.
- Strong People
Perhaps one reason I feel uninspired this September is I have several people in my life who are facing difficult times: death of a spouse, cancer treatment, financial setbacks. Don’t get me started on the pain in the world I see on the nightly news. Today I ran into a co-worker who is undergoing treatment for cancer. She is here at work with a smile on her face. I know students who experience uncertainty and insecurity at home, yet they show up to school every day, ready to learn. I find inspiration in others who continue in difficult times.
This year at our district kick-off we heard an inspirational message from Anthony Robles. If you haven’t heard his story, check him out! He doesn’t let anything stand in his way!
- Passionate Peers
I’m lucky to connect with inspirational teachers through the PSESD Corelaborate Blog. You read their posts, you hear passion, commitment, skill, and the willingness to share with others. I’m inspired by their pledge to open their practice and enhance the profession.
Not only do passionate peers inspire me, they are fulfilling their high quality professional responsibilities. The Danielson Framework describes a Distinguished professional as one who “initiates important activities to contribute to the profession, such as mentoring new teachers, writing articles for publication, and making presentations.” (Component 4e: Growing and Developing Professionally) My fellow peers who contribute to the blog are distinguished members of the profession.
Where do YOU find inspiration? What keeps you going on difficult days? Share in the comments!