I am so excited to be at the blog today to post as a part of the 12 Days of December blog hop being hosted by some AMAZING secondary ELA teachers. This year’s theme is “Comfort and Joy in the Secondary Classroom“. When I was notified of the theme I immediately knew what I wanted to post about…and it isn’t something that is just secondary ELA specific, so bear with me as I go off-script a little bit.
I want to talk about teacher guilt.
We all have it.
You know the feeling. During our weeks, we feel as if we could’ve taught something better if only we had planned more or bought those cutesy things at Target that could’ve helped with the lesson. We feel guilty that another teacher in our building has it all together and maybe our students would be better off if they had that other person as a teacher instead of you. We feel guilty that our shit isn’t as together as we’d want it to be and that (God forbid!) our classroom libraries look like a tornado ran through them and sometimes our rooms look a mess when we go home for the day.
On Saturday and Sunday nights, when we should be hanging out with our family and re-charging for the week, we feel guilty that we didn’t do that one thing we thought we should do; we feel guilty that we didn’t laminate and cut those new word wall words, or that we didn’t have time to give that extra specific feedback on our students’ essays. We feel guilty we didn’t work all weekend to “catch up”, when we know the reality is that there is no catching up…there is always something to be doing.
We love our jobs but because of this feeling of dread we sort of don’t look forward to going in to the job that we love.
When high stakes state tests roll around at the end of the year we feel like we didn’t do enough, our kids aren’t ready and that another year has passed where we didn’t get 100% of our kids where we want them to be before moving to the next grade.
Know the feeling I’m talking about? I know you’re nodding your head.
I want to talk about teacher guilt as the subject for my “Comfort and Joy in the Secondary Classroom” post because first and foremost, the only way there will be real comfort and joy in your classroom no matter what you teach is if you, the teacher and leader in your classroom, are taken care of first. Period. In order to be better for kids, you must prioritize yourself, understand that you. are. enough. and you’re doing the best you can with what you have.
As holiday break is approaching, I urge you to reset and refocus if you’re feeling like teacher guilt has really gotten you down this year. I’ve REALLY felt it. But, with the help of some teacher friends, I have been able to shake off the feeling a bit, push away my workaholic tendencies and spend more time with family and friends (or just watching trash TV because I feel like it…without a computer in front of me!). I know that I have been better and more present for my students because of it.
Two of my favorite teacher bloggers (Shana and Jenna) and I started using the hashtag #STOPTeacherGuilt on Instagram in order to show a little support to teachers who have been feeling the same way we have and to really start a conversation about that feeling of guilt. With over 700+ posts using the hashtag by teachers who are feeling the exact same way, I have been blown away by the support that insta-teachers have shown each other around this topic. So, I invite you to post and use the hashtag, and explore the posts that have already been posted. You are not alone in how you feel and it. is. okay. to take a step back if you need to. Please, reclaim your time this December and as you start out your 2018, put yourself first.
Want Want to receive work-life balance motivation, encouraging notes and strategies sent straight to your inbox? Join the #stopteacherguilt movement. I promise your inbox won’t be flooded and the content will be short, sweet and relevant. Sign up at the bottom of this post.
See below for the other amazing posts from secondary ELA teachers in the blog hop. Also, want to enter today’s giveaway ($100 to TPT!)? Enter here.