How I Kept My Passion for Education Last Year

January 13, 2018 No Comments

How I Kept My Passion for Education Last Year

January 13, 2018 No Comments

I cannot believe we are already into 2018.  It seems like just yesterday I was holding my brand new niece and saying goodbye to 2016.  Now, she’s a year old and we’re halfway through January of 2018.  2017 brought so much change for me, both in and out of the classroom.  I’m proud of who I’ve grown to be in the last year and excited to continue on that journey this year.

If there’s one that I embraced last year, it was the power of discomfort.  I had to step outside of my comfort zone to find a place I felt like I belonged.  It’s easy to experience burnout as a teacher and fall into a rut.  Doing the same thing over and over is bound to take a toll on your passion and effectiveness in the classroom.  How did I combat that this past year?

I let my teacher leader flag fly.

By no means did I wake up one day and say, “Hey, I want to be a teacher leader.”  It didn’t quite work out like that.  But I surrounded myself with like-minded teachers and educators who had a passion for students and a craving for innovation.  I got involved in a grassroots teacher-led engagement group in my school district called JCPSForward and built my #TeacherTribe.  For the first time in my career, I led district-wide professional learning on topics I was passionate about, including literacy, technology in the classroom, and using social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram to expand your teacher tribe.  For the first time in my career, I felt as if I had a voice in the current education landscape.

I went for it.

In 2017, I also made the decision to go back to school to get an Educational Specialist degree in School Administration and Leadership.  This is something I have always known I might want to pursue one day in the future, but I decided to go ahead and take the plunge.  I am thrilled that I did because I am loving every second of it, even though it can be extremely overwhelming.  I am eager to learn how to harness my leadership skills to create a larger impact for more students than just those within my own classroom.

I expanded my business, my brand, and my teacher tribe.

With a little push from my real life teacher friend, Kelsey (www.kelseynhayes.com), I breathed new life into my blog and my TeachersPayTeachers store.  This experience, in and of itself, brought new life back to my teaching career and my passion for the job I love.  My business side hustle is so much a part of who I am as a teacher and as a person and I love pouring myself into it.

A large part of growing my blog and TeachersPayTeachers store began with engaging with the larger teacher community on Instagram.  I have met so many fantastic teachers and TPT sellers through Instagram and I will forever be grateful for the passion and enthusiasm they share daily.

I enjoyed the little moments with my students.  

Teaching can be stressful.  There’s no doubt about that.  But I can almost guarantee that 100% of teachers started the job because they love kids and they love being around kids.  Even when they’re not listening to you and they’re really struggling to understand the content, you can always count on them to crack a funny joke or give you a hug when they can tell you’re not having the best of days.  My students are the reason I do what I do and I can always count on them to remind me why I love my job.

I hope you continue to renew your passion for education on a daily basis.  I’d love to hear about how you’re keeping your passion alive.  Let me know in the comments below!

sherylwoods

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  • Amanda Koonlaba January 20, 2018 at 4:26 am

    This sounds very similar to my story. Excitement, for me, ebbs and wanes. Passion never varies.

  • Stephanie Miller January 20, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    I completely agree with you about TpT and blogging. It has made me such a better teacher and more excited about teaching.

  • Sheryl Woods January 20, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    I am the same way. I love, love, love my job, but can get easily bored with it.

  • Sheryl Woods January 20, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    Yes! I have loved growing so much professionally this year.

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    Hi! My name is Sheryl and I am so thankful you've found your way to the TeacherLadyKY blog! I'm an elementary educator from Louisville, Kentucky who is passionate about building relationships and literacy skills with my students, as well as empowering teachers around me to be leaders and rockstars. I've taught everything from kindergarten to fifth grade and I can't wait to share my experiences with you! Enjoy! Read More

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    • I moved into my house in late June of 2012. As I was sitting on the porch, less than a week later, this black and white baby came running through my yard and up to me, eager for some loving. 
She was tiny for her breed - nearly 20 pounds underweight and basically a bag of bones. She was so dirty.  Kids from the neighborhood said they had no idea who she belonged to - she’d been running for a while now. I took her in the backyard and she became a part of our family almost immediately. 
It took her a while to trust us. She wouldn’t let us pick her up. She bolted out the door anytime it was open. Even to this day, she hated fireworks and thunderstorms, which gave her such anxiety that she’d pant, pace, and shake.  We had no idea how old she was,  but we knew she’d seen a lot in her years. She had been terribly abused and, with us, she found a new life of love. 
And she loved so deeply. After a while, she learned that there were plenty of pets, kisses, and treats to go around. She leaned into our sides when she wanted some attention. She begged for walks and car rides. The last seven years of her life were good - so good.  She loved us all, but her Grandpa Dennis Boyd especially. She made our family of puppies complete and we couldn’t imagine life before her. 
Our sweet Hallie Grace crossed the rainbow bridge this afternoon, joining our Annabelle. I will miss her, just like I deeply miss my Belle, but I take comfort in knowing that they are together. ❤️❤️❤️
    • A couple of months ago, I posted about how I’d be moving from fifth grade down to fourth. Well, things change!

This week I accepted an offer to serve as the Backpack Leader at Foster Heights Elementary in Nelson County. I am so thrilled for this position since it allows me to work with teachers and help them level up their skills, but also allows me to stay grounded in my first love: teaching. I will still be responsible for a group of students each day and focused on deep learning with them.

It is bittersweet leaving a school and a district that I love - but when I feel the need to jump, I jump.  I can’t wait to do amazing things with some amazing people in NCS! #npossible
    • A rare day in summer when my makeup is on and my hair is down.  I am absolutely loving these lazy, summer days, but I’m also excited about all of the professional learning that will be happening over the next two weeks.

I’ll admit - it’s hard for me to take a break. But when I do, I break HARD! Learning how to balance and make process, while still taking care of myself.

Enjoy your summer, teachers! You’ve deserve it!

#teacher #teachersofinstagram #teachersonsummerbreak #teacherlife #teachersummer #professionallearning
    • It’s true. You are only as good as the people with whom you surround yourself.
    • Anyone else read two books at once? I keep switching between the two of these. They both started out slower than I wanted, but are starting to pick up.

Brave, Not Perfect is about learning to combat your inner perfectionist and focusing on being brave instead.  It’s a powerful message that more people need to hear and take to heart, myself included.

Everything All At Once is the story of Lottie, whose very famous writer aunt recently passed away, leaving her with 24 letters that includes directions for accomplishing specific tasks. It’s starting to get really good!

#bookstagram #booksofinsta #bookstagrammer #bookstagramit #bravenotperfect #everythingallatonce #teachersofinstagram #summerreading #summerreadinglist #teachersonsummerbreak
    • Did you know that elephants like to give triceratopses piggy nose rides? *Not to scale.

@ktberry9515
    • Ten years ago, I brought a little hound puppy home from the Kentucky Humane Society after begging my mom for YEARS for a dog. I knew Annabelle was ours the moment she bit my ear.

From there, Annabelle ruled the house. She sat co-pilot in the car. She was the absolute best snuggler. She loved wearing clothes. She could smile bigger than any dog I’ve ever met. 
She was also a mess and a half. She stole food from wherever she could get it. She was jealous - of other dogs, of Justin, of my new nieces. She plopped herself in my lap anytime she could to claim her territory, but when she was mad at me, refused to turn her face to look at me.

She was the leader of the pack, the first of four. 
Today we had to do the hardest thing I, personally, have ever had to do. Having a dog as an adult is way different than having a dog as a kid. My heart is broken into a million pieces. Mama loves you, Belly girl.
    • I took a trip to the library yesterday and gobbled this one up in a couple of hours. I picked it from the shelf on its name alone and it did not fail to disappoint. Audacious is a novel written in verse from the perspective of a girl who has a knack for pushing the boundaries in every way.

It was a beautiful reminder of the beauty - and the chaos - that comes from walking the unknown, just because you felt like it.

@gsprendergast 
#audacious #audaciousbook #bookstagram #bookstagrammers #teachersofinstagram #teachersonsummerbreak #kentuckyteacher #teacherswhoread #youngadultreads #youngadultnovel #youngadultlit #yalit #ya #read #reader #readersofig
    • Summer reading book #2 is finished! This sweet book, the sequel to #therosieproject, failed to hold my attention as well as the first, but was still so perfect. Don is one of my absolute favorite characters, as cringeworthy as he is. I give #therosieeffect 4/5 stars!

Up next on my summer reading list is #bravenotperfect by @reshmasaujani.

#summerreading #summertime #teacherswhoread #teachersonsummerbreak #bookstagram #bookshelf #teachersofinstagram #teachersfollowteachers #stopteacherguilt

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    The TeacherLadyKY blog header and logo were designed by Sheryl, using fonts from A Primary Kind of Life and Brittney Murphy Design.  Clip art is courtesy of Irina Bandyk, whose Etsy shop is WatercolorCliparts.  The blog theme used is Emilia by Georgia Lou Studios.

     

     

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