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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    About Me

    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. 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’ve kind of been all over the place for the last eight years, but I’m excited to start year 9 in fourth grade! I’m pumped to be on a BOMB team (we need team nickname, @trish_cummane), learning a new curriculum, and becoming the best teacher YET!
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Is it too early to start planning for next year when there are still 12 days left in this school year? 🤓
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    • Here are some onesies I made for my sweet niece. She’s going to rock that HP one!
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    • Today is a special, special day where I get to celebrate all the people that I love most. 
First, Happy Mother’s Day to my own mother, who taught me that I could do anything I wanted as long as I put my mind to it. She has always had the attitude that there’s no problem that can’t be fixed and she is the always the first one asking how she can help. 
Second, Happy Mother’s Day toy beautiful sister who is a learning and growing and doing a fantastic job at one of the hardest roles in the world. I love watching her be a mom, because she’s so good at it. She is patient and thoughtful, fun and understanding.

And finally, Happy 60th Birthday to my dad, who is the best dad and the best Pa I’ve ever seen. He, like Mom, has always taught me to find a solution and stop worrying about the problem. He’s always there for having fun, even if it means letting your daughters paint your nails or playing dinosaurs with a two year for the thousandth time.  I love you all and I’m so lucky I get to call you mine! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
    • I had an amazing day graduating and  spending time with my family. I am so proud of how far I’ve come in accomplishing my goals and it makes me feel better about how far I’ve still left to go.
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Still, when all was said and done, I came home to face my next obstacle and became immediately anxious and overwhelmed.  I hit a mental block and I stayed there for a while.
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I CAN do hard things. I have done them before. I went through college three times. I bought a house, by myself, at 22 years old.  Together, Justin and I have scrounged and saved and paid off thousands in debt.  I CAN do whatever I put my mind to, just like Mom and Dad told me, way back when I was knee-high to a grasshopper. I can accomplish amazing things, I just have to believe in myself.
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I wrote in my #starttodayjournal this morning when I woke up, but I was feeling anxious and overwhelmed, so I did it for a second time just now, before I fall asleep. I love how calm, focused, positive it keeps my mind. I can’t wait to write it in again tomorrow.
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    • I switched schools three years ago - the summer before I got married.  It was a tough move because I LOVED my students and I felt guilty leaving them, but I knew I needed to make the move. My friend who teaches fifth grade at my previous school had her students write a letter to a former teacher. Two of her students chose me to write to - and then she shared their notes with me.
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Yes, these made me cry. NEVER take for granted the impact you have on others and the power of compassion, empathy, and kindness. It has been three years since these students sat in my second grade classroom. Three years since I’ve seen them, but our connection is so strong it seems like just yesterday.
    • This isn’t the best picture BUT I had to show you a shirt I made this week. Every Friday, as my students walk out the door before the weekend, I say to them: “Goodbye. I love you. Have a good weekend!” For some of my students, it’s just words. For some of my students, it’s THE words that helps them get through 2 or 3 days of chaos before coming back to the “calm” that is our classroom. In fact, when I wore it yesterday (we’re off school today), one of kids read it, his eyes popped open wide and he said, “But... but.... that’s what you say to us! Where’d you get that?!?” The joy on his face was priceless. Now, I have a Friday T-shirt that will remind them all day.
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I have never one regretted saying I love you to my students because I DO. In every sense of the word, I love them with my whole self and would do anything for them.
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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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