1. Norma Bingham

    Hey George – even on a “bad day”, when you are running on empty, you still manage to give all of encouragement and hope. Take good care of yourself this weekend. I’m hoping you will be able to
    take time to recharge.

  2. Love this–this is so true of the teachers at Quincy elementary. We all have those days when we kind of slump into the lounge for a cup of coffee. They amaze me though because 10 minutes later when I see the same teacher greet students, it is with love, joy and enthusiasm–no matter what. I will share your words with them!

  3. Hey Pal,

    Thanks for this. All too often, I think people forget that this gig is ridiculously hard.

    Sometimes I’m jealous of the people working beyond the classroom because when they are having an off day, they can control their time a bit — maybe answer email, return a phone call, grab a cup of coffee and sit still for a minute or two.

    My kids are rolling through the door hour after hour for the entire day. There’s no chance to catch your breath even when you are having a bad day.

    That’s tough.

    Hope you are well!

    • George

      Thanks Bill…I know how dedicated you are to the job, even when conditions aren’t great. The resilience you show as a teacher models something very powerful to the students you serve. Always remember that. Take care my friend!

  4. Susanne

    Thank you for this post, George. I’ve been in my classroom on this Saturday since 10a (it’s now 6:18p) giving feedback on my kiddos’ research papers. As I’ve been grading them, I realize, many of them need a revision opportunity. The last thing I want to do is reread these 10-page papers, which have taken me on average 38 minutes per paper to grade. I’ll do it, though, because I want them to be better than they currently are, and I want them to know how to find valid and reliable sources, and I want them to know how to communicate effectively in writing. My creative way of grading these revisions is to set up conferences with them so that they are with me the next time I grade them, and they will provide much of the information on how they revised, and they will need to convince me that they deserve a better grade based on their improvements. Teaching can be exhausting, but I do love it!

    Take care,

    • George

      Great teachers are not born, but they are made through years of tireless hard work and doing what is hard for the sake of what is best. Thank you for your dedication.

  5. Beth

    Thanks, this hit home having received a diagnosis of stage 1 breast cancer during my vacation week. I will miss a week of school, but will continue to teach during radiation. I am going to keep showing up because teaching is my passion.

    • Debbie Axiak

      Love George’s message and how you are maintaining a positive attitude Bethh. I’m a breast cancer survivor and know how important attitude is and want to let you know that there may be days during treatment when teaching will raise you up, other days where you give 100% even when you are exhausted and other days where you should stay home and give yourself time to recover…and that is ok. Your recovery and health are the most important thing right now and you need to take care of yourself so that you can come back stronger than ever :)

        • George

          My advice to my teachers when I was principal…If you feel you need a sick day, take a sick day. Sometimes we just need some time to get back to ourselves and I think being comfortable sharing that shows a lot of strength, not weakness.

    • George

      Beth…my well wishes are going out to you and I appreciate your courage for sharing. I hope all is okay.

  6. Elle

    The comments here are just as inspirational as the article. Kudos to passion-driven teachers! Remember also to keep your personal needs in balance. I’ve had to learn that the hard way. Family, relationships, and health have to rank as high as your passion for teaching in order to remain the fabulous educators you are! It’s Sunday; take a few minutes for a walk. :)

  7. As always, you hit a timely thread. I’m heading to Shanghai, China in the morning to train teachers. I’m feeling exhausted from setting up my week for a substitute and, now, working on my slide deck because it has to represent both BIE and myself. I know my first day will be at less than 100% because of jet lag. So, my day 1 slide deck needs to rock so I can give them 110% of my 35% brain. Hope you are well and that we can cross paths soon.

  8. A few years ago, I was asked to think about all the courses I took to prepare myself for being a teacher, and then to pick one course, either a course I took or a course I wish I took, that would best prepare future teachers for their profession.
    Without hesitation, I said that all teachers should take an Intro to Acting course. There are many reasons why I think this course is so important, but I think George’s posts hits on one important aspect. We need to be able to act one way when we feel another.
    Being an asthmatic and having bad allergies, I cannot tell you the number of days I taught while literally sick and tired. If any students would come to see my during office hours, at lunch, or after school, they could sometimes tell, but they also say they never would have guessed by the energy and enthusiasm I had in the classroom while teaching.
    As Debbie said above, my health is important, so I would get plenty of sleep these days and possibly take medicine or supplements to help the symptoms pass by faster. (Note, neither asthma nor allergies are contagious, so I wasn’t worried about getting anyone else sick.)
    It has also helped for days that I have had someone close pass away, or just generally lousy days. Thank you, George, for your acknowledgement and appreciation.

    • George

      Thank you for your comment Chad and I appreciate you sharing the story. Health is so crucial in what we do but it is easy to forget to take care of ourselves.

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