12 Points that Help Jess Reclaim her Passion—#6

Each month, author Jess Cleeves shares 12 of her most important points of advice on reclaiming passion.

Even in a world where educators are universally esteemed (which is not, unfortunately, our world), there is no way for anyone to fully know what you do, so there’s no way for anyone to fully appreciate it.

We’ll never know how many times you bite your tongue, read the room right, or try a risky-but-exactly-right strategy. We’ll never see the hundreds of thousands of decisions you make every week to keep your classrooms humming and your students cared for and comfortable enough to take learning risks.

We’ll miss out on getting weepy at the perfectly worded praise you offer, the sensitivity you bring to bear as you build challenging instruction that still supports students to experience success.

Because what you do is so complex, we simply can’t see it all. Even if we try.

Excerpt from Planning to Stay:

You do not have to do everything at once.

Start with one thing. Perhaps this year, setting up your calendar to support yourself is “first step” enough on the planning side, and exploring peer grading is enough as you implement liberating approaches in your classroom. That’s great! This book will still be around next year, and you’ll be able to work in other ideas and strategies then.

If you know the lay of the land, and you are ready to more assertively implement new ideas, consider focusing on one idea until it’s integrated, or focus on one idea per week. You could list what you want to implement, in what order, or you could flip to a page like an extreme-self-care tarot deck and pick an idea from whichever page you open. The only wrong way to implement new strategies would be in any manner that makes you feel more overwhelmed.

You know you best. You know your practice best. You and I both know that the calmest, easiest, kindest, most curious, most connected you is the you that will enjoy your classroom the most. We also know that that’s the version of you that your students will learn from the best. The version of you that’s interested in “planning to stay” is the version that stands the best chance of living a sane and satisfying career inside the classroom, and a rich and full life outside of it. That’s the version of you that you, your family, your friends, and your students deserve.

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