Past, Present, & Future – A Reflection & Projection of Teacher Resilience
It’s the time of year that we reflect on our past, try to enjoy the present more, and look forward to what the future holds. Joy in Teaching has gone from an idea to a very real place for educators to gain inspiration and actionable resources to help them reclaim the joy in teaching. We continue to grow and reach educators through the FREE Facebook group, our Facebook page, Twitter, and recently, even Linkedin.
Come by and say hi on any of these social media and keep reading to see what exciting new things are in the works for Joy in Teaching (stay to the end for a special reveal of a major new resource available very soon).
Past: The Origin of Joy in Teaching
After 16 years in a profession I am passionate about, after witnessing far too many colleagues leave due to occupational stresses, and not being immune to the same frustrations – I decided to take action. And, at the end of the school year I walked out of my classroom with a new sense of purpose and determination and the spark fro Joy in teaching was ignited.
Leaving the Classroom
In June of 2017 the Joy in Teaching Facebook Group launched as a community of support for educators. I nerve-rackingly posted on Facebook live in my last moments before leaving my classroom for the summer. The response was overwhelmingly positive and thus began the journey of Joy in Teaching.
Here is the video that started it all:
Launching Joy in Teaching
The following August the Joy in Teaching website went live offering resources and professional development to support teacher well-being. Both the group and website were developed to offer a lifeline to educators. A beacon of light for teachers and administrators who seek to build resilience and invest in retention.
The Mission of Joy in Teaching Build teacher resiliency, invest in the retention of good teachers, and reclaim the joy in teaching by providing actionable and inspirational resources to educators.
Since the launch of this website Joy in Teaching has offered a variety of resources and articles. Each week a new article about issues surrounding teacher resilience and retention was published (see here). Also, there was the 5 Day to Fight Teacher Burnout Challenge which had a great enrollment for the first Joy in Teaching event.
Present: Joy in Teaching Now
There are a lot of great things happening from Joy in Teaching right now.
In many ways taking a year out of the classroom and starting Joy in Teaching has been like being a first-year teacher again. And, for those of you on the mailing list (click here if you aren’t and you want to be) I detailed this a bit in my end-of-the-year thank you email.
Spending the day out of the classroom
For 16 years every moment of my work day was controlled. I taught, planned, ate, and used the bathroom as the school bell dictated. This year has been… different.
It has taken some getting used to. The five months since Joy in Teaching launched I have re-learned how to spend my time. As a mother, I have enjoyed the luxury of being able into walk my boys (ages 3 & 5) to their classrooms each day and attend all of their school and extracurricular events. As a teacher, I still remain on online adjunct educator and have found a new form of fulfillment in reaching fellow educators and thought-leaders through Joy in Teaching. I have re-learned how to manage my own time and make my own priorities and have had a blast taking on this learning curve.
An Upcoming Podcast
I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed about Joy in Teaching for an upcoming podcast. It was an honor to be asked and fun, albeit nerve-wracking, to do. It was such a great opportunity to share about teacher well-being and resilience and to talk about my passion and purpose that fuels Joy in Teaching.
I’ll update this post with more information and a link when the podcast airs in a few weeks.
Receiving an Award
Just this week I had the pleasant surprise of being awarded the Liebster Award. The award is a recognition given to bloggers from bloggers and I am grateful for the nomination from Living 4 Me… Unapologetically. I take this award as an acknowledgment that I am reaching those beyond my limited circle of friends and former colleagues, that my message for a need of resilience and strength in education is being heard, and that I am on the right track.
As part of the rules of accepting the Liebster Award you have to showcase your favorite site. I think I would be remiss to not showcase The Art of Ed as it is a fantastic source for education content and resources for art teachers and those seeking information on infusing creativity, project-based, artistic skills, and much, much more into their teaching. I also happen to teach for them and really enjoy the students I meet in the online courses and resources that I get to share with them.
One of the great things about the Liebster Award is that you get to pass it on to others deserving or recognition in your same space online. I’d like to highlight some growing sites as you start off on your new year you may be interested in checking out and that I would like to nominate for a Liebster Award. Teaching Cove. Educator on Fire. English with Russie. Becca’s Music Room. Literacy Pages. My nominator does a great job of reviewing all the rules of the award in this post. And again, I am very grateful for the acknowledgment.
One of the other rules of accepting the Liebster Award is sharing 10 facts about yourself, so here we go.
- I have taught at 15 different k-12 schools and 3 different higher education institutions.
- My first year of teaching I taught from a cart while traveling between 7 different schools.
- One of my favorite positions ever was 4 years of teaching student teacher seminars because of the energy and optimism of the pre-service teachers.
- I accepted my Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning with two more children than when I started.
- My dissertation for my Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning focused on the intersection of exploration, play, and community in the classroom.
- I live in a registered historical district in a 108 year old house.
- I have 2 young boys and 2 dogs, so basically, my house is never clean.
- I’m from Iowa and my husband’s from South Carolina so we get both midwest and southern climates when we visit family.
- I played women’s rugby in college (we were pretty good).
- When I was 16 years old I lived with a family in Belgium.
It takes a lot of dedication to offer consistent and valuable content to others. Many times it is an unpaid venture, completely fueled by passion. A little acknowledgment can go a long way to encourage those who willingly create for others. So let’s continue to support content creators, bloggers, and future thought-leaders by acknowledging each other’s work.
Future: What’s in the Works
I enter 2018 with gratitude.
I have enjoyed providing teachers with actionable and inspirational resources to build teacher resilience. As we enter the new year I have some great things in store.
Switching things up.
If you are a member of the FREE JOY IN TEACHING FACEBOOK GROUP then you are already familiar with Motivation Monday, Tip Tuesday, and Research Wednesday Posts, however as we enter the new year we are going to change things up a little.
Here’s what to expect:
- New posts on Mondays – this will give you the rest of the school week to share and discuss the articles with friends and colleagues.
- Tip Tuesday – A new look for resilience building teacher tips each Tuesday
- Research Wednesday – even more academically grounded resources surrounding teacher resilience
- Thoughtful Thursday – hot topics and ideas that will also show up on Twitter. (here’s the Joy in Teaching Twitter)
- Fridays will be reserved for special announcements and additional fun resources
- All the members of the group play an essential part and are welcome to share with the community (check the guidelines). And, if you’re not a member join for free right here.
On the Horizon
The mission remains strong and Joy in Teaching has some great content and special resources in store for you in 2018.
Actionable and inspirational resources, new blog posts, and if you can keep a secret (shhhh…) there’s even a book in the works. So yeah, it’s going to be a great year and I can’t wait to share it all with you.
Together we will reclaim the joy in teaching!