Sunday, August 21, 2011

It's that time of year again

Since they start running back-to-school ads practically just as the last Fourth of July firework is shooting off, I try to ignore them as long as possible.  But when Staples Teacher Appreciation Day hits, you know the end is nigh.

Like many teachers, I spent most of the summer trying to forget about school while simultaneously trying to psych myself up for next year.  Every summer, I swear I'm going to do tons of preparation, and every summer, I don't do as much as I'd like.  Growing up, I was always conscientiously over-prepared, but summer brings out the procrastinator in me.

One thing I did do this summer was to read Awakened: Change Your Mindset to Transform Your Teaching by Angela Watson, who runs the Cornerstone website for teachers.  I'm sure there are tons of books out there about how to ease job stress, but it was interesting to read one that's aimed directly at teachers; only a fellow teacher can appreciate those uniquely frustrating circumstances like when your push-in prep teacher is fifteen minutes late or when an administrator suddenly demands that you have a classful of individual assessment results ready by tomorrow.  The lesson Awakened teaches is something I already know but have extraordinary trouble doing, which is: It's healthier to let go than to stew about it in a seething rage.  Summertime was the perfect time for reading it, too, because summertime is like New Year's resolution time for teachers: This year, I will remain refreshingly above it all and not get mired in misery of any sort!  Ms. Watson is up-front about the fact that clearly this attitude is a work in progress.  She's also up-front about the fact that she came by this attitude by way of her Christian faith, which I admit was disconcerting at first, but the content of the book doesn't really Go There, so to speak, which as a non-Christian I appreciated.  Bottom line: Anyone who's trying to help teachers feel less stressed out so that they can be better at their jobs, rather than blaming teachers for the sorry state of everything ever, is cool with me. 

1 comment:

Angela said...

That was an awesome book summary--you totally got it! Made me smile all the way through. Thank you for taking the time to read Awakened and share your thoughts. I would LOVE for you to copy and paste that paragraph onto Amazon.com--the more reviews, the easier it is for teachers to find helpful resources. You rock!

Hope you're enjoying your last few weeks of vay kay (as everyone seems to be calling it now.) Looking forward to reading your next adventures. :-)

Also, thinking about doing an NYC edublogger get-together (with Mrs. Mimi, etc.)...will keep you updated if you are interested...