This evening I came across a lifehacker article on my Facebook feed (hyperlinked in the quote) regarding passion and career choices. The article closed with:
“Choosing something you love shouldn’t be so much about looking for a good feeling, but more about how you handle the bad ones.”
This line is bouncing around my mind. I’m relatively new to education. I embarked on my formal education career ( I say formal because I consider my 7 years as a stay at home mom as valuable ‘teaching’ years too.) 4 years ago. As an alternatively certified teacher, I sometimes look at educational issues, policies, and procedures from an outsider’s perspective and, at times, find the system perplexing.
However, my passion remains…almost to fault. I believe in pushing myself and pushing for our school to be its best- pedagogy, methodology, PBL, PLN, CCSS, LoTi, and who knows how many other scholarly acronyms!
The “good feelings” abound. Watching students that are truly engaged by relevant projects and rigorous learning experiences facilitated by skilled teachers in a 1:1 environment- Good Gravy, it truly is amazing! I leave the campus feeling beyond lucky to have talented peers, amazing students, and phenomenal technology resources almost everyday. Wait…almost?
There are bad moments too. I can honestly say that my “bad moments” aren’t caused by students or classroom management issues. Perhaps students provide some challenging moments, but not bad moments.
Because I see the power of PBL and routine technology integration on a daily basis throughout the school year, sometimes I become discouraged by the rate of change in educational institutions. I want everyone to integrate technology (not necessarily my way but in some way), I want everyone to be reading educational blogs. I want everyone to love their students and find joy in teaching. I want every teacher to be effective. I want everyone to be engaged in dialogues to improve professionally. I want schools to be positive environments for students and teachers. Since I’m confessing here…ya, I want a lot of things and I know they may not all be reasonable or realistic- I’m a dreamer with high standards.
So how do I handle those moments when my educational fantasies and day dreams come crashing down around my ears? When my passion for education turns into disappointment, anger, or tears pooling in my eyes? How do I overcome the bad moments?
As a teacher, I literally do some deep breathing then close my door and dive into learning and teaching with my students. Or the year that I acted solely as a edtech coach, I went into a teacher’s room that inspired me and observed the power of an awesome learning environment.
It works for me.
How do you cope with the bad moments?