Showing posts from November, 2017

Too Much Crying in the Car

I received an email from NPR Ed on Thanksgiving with a title that made me pause: Hey, New Teachers, It's OK To Cry In Your Car Yikes. It’s OK to cry in your car. Really? The article goes on to say that 10% of all new teachers will quit within that first year, and October and November are a special crumbling zone. This information supports the layout I prepared in Dear Teachers. I started by highlighting points about yourself (September), your people (October), and now the struggles here in November. We all need preparation. Hitting a wall after 6 weeks of school is similar to the walls you hit after you set up New Year’s Resolutions. Grandiose plans hit the repeated speed-bumps of reality, and we can start to feel hopeless and helpless. A few people can plug on while most others fall off to varying degrees. The more we’ve prepared for the bumps, the farther we’ll go. The more tricks and tools we have, the more likely we’ll reach some serious successes we can build

Embracing Darkness and Light

Gray wool skies. Sleet. Wind. A few shriveled leaves clinging sadly to craggy branches. Misunderstandings. Looming deadlines. Absences. An unexpected call late in the day. Both of these lists are things that can be considered the “cold and dark” of life. These are things that can make us feel depressed, oppressed, sad or even angry. Week 11 of Dear Teachers starts with this quote from Francis Bacon: “In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.” Take a look at Marlene’s photo. It’s a prime example of this. The sun creates gorgeous shadows. The shadows give the light its richness. Deepest dark defines both the foreground and the horizon, alternating with warm sky and its reflection. The water’s calm depth is what allows the light to sparkle on its surface through the shimmering cattail shadows. It’s been a year since I began the journey of writing Dear Teachers. It was a dark time for me mentally and physically but the writing process wa

Falling Back: A Gift

I participated in a Twitter chat this morning which revolved around the time change we just underwent. Folks on #Peopleskills gave some great responses to questions about what falling back means, the difference between falling back and learning from our past, and how falling back can be a good thing or a destructive thing and why. It segues well into Week 9 of Dear Teachers . Marlene’s picture is a bleak and craggy one, in my opinion. There’s a patch of green, but for the most part, the scene is bare with terrain that looks extremely difficult to traverse. I imagined trying to cross that stream and saw myself slipping on the rough cobble which is tumbled everywhere. Sometimes, we have to fall back. Allowing it to happen can be a gift: to adjust our plans to match the true situation we find ourselves in and to achieve genuine success. As Tom Reid @_TomGReid posted, “The earlier a space probe makes a trajectory adjustment, the less fuel (easier) it is. Unless you period