Extra credit.

We, teachers, don’t hear enough about the good things we do in a day. We count on funny videos, friends, and our students to support us. The sad truth, it doesn’t come from the top often. But that’s okay, really and truly. That is not the work of administration. Or rather, it’s like finding money in a coat pocket: it’s great when it happens, but don’t count on it.

Maybe we’re so programmed to think of reflection as a tear-down process–but reflection can also mean, “Hey, I’m looking pretty good!” And by that, I don’t mean vanity, but the reflection of who we are through the eyes and hearts of our students.

Take a minute for yourself, and keep a log of the good things that happened. It’s the cure for the criticism, warranted or not, that comes our way.

This past month:

  • Started students writing and posting regularly on a class blog.
  • Contacted and reached out to the experts in my building about students who need extra support
  • Reached out to parents to support them
  • Had student-led conferences and helped support the majority of my students get their presentations done, and enjoyed talking to parents that evening (and made many parents laugh)
  • Hosted Minecraft/Anime Club in the wake of new protocols that support students and scholarly pursuits
  • Students decorated my classroom door for the door decorating contest: they did it all. On the backsides of the index cards were compliments they gave to one another.
  • Supported colleagues with resource curation (whether they use it or not, it’s there)
  • Made counseling aware of a student whose emotional health drew concerns and will continue to follow up
  • Contacted a parent to better help support her child
  • Helped students make connections to their core classes, each day, every day
  • Helped my ELL teacher colleagues with support for a student who needs extra help: she may not get it because of rules on the books, but we’re trying
  • Shared resources with teachers nationwide and locally – strangers and friends–and continued dialogues and exchanges of ideas
  • Helped create new form for an administrative procedure
  • Figured out how to do some cool things
  • Planning my PBL with the WABS/STEM group this weekend and last
  • Took advice from admin that’s really good
  • Cleared the air with a colleague
  • Solved misunderstandings
  • Said “yes”
  • Said “no”
  • Offered to update social-emotional lessons for admin
  • Came on time, stood in the hallway, did my duty, warmly greeted students–none of that is difficult. One of the best parts of my days.
  • Hosted students from other classes in my room for small group work
  • Discovered new solutions to problems, tested out apps and software
  • Made jokes, kept a smile, and laughed.

Oh, and that was all on Tuesday.

Well, I’m joking, of course, but not by much! We all do a lot in one day, a lot of good, happy things: we know we have students in our care who deserve the best of who we are. And if no one has told you lately, I will:

You’re awesome. You’re doing important, good work. You bring the best of who you are for them.

Thank you.