In case you haven’t noticed, Facebook has a new feature called “On This Day.” It shows you anything you have posted on that particular day in previous years since joining the site. My first child just turned one, so it’s been amazingly fun to look back and see what he was doing a year ago. Other days have been fun to remember, too; seeing pictures from vacations past or reminiscing about my first date with my husband have put a smile on my face. Other times, such as the tornado that came through our neighborhood 8 years ago, were not as fun at the time but made for interesting conversation (our home and everything were fine so not as devastating as it could have easily been).
But this looking back has also made painstakingly clear that this time of year is not normally my favorite. Almost every day of every year has a post of some kind commenting about how many school days I have left. Some years, the count started as high as 40 days! Now, I know most teachers are excited for summer break – who wouldn’t be? But it made me start to think about how I must feel about my job if that’s what I post each day every year.
I don’t hate my job. In fact, most days I love it. I mean, I get paid to play and sing with kids all day. But a few years ago, I really started to feel burnt out. I was bored with the same old thing. I never taught the exact same things every year, but it still felt like the same old thing every day. Plus, as teachers today know all too well, it’s the “other stuff” that makes us frustrated at our jobs: ever-increasing workloads, unsupportive parents, and educational bureaucracy get in the way of us doing what we love.
But this year is different. I attended my first tech conference in the fall and started connecting with other educators on Twitter. For the first time, I found an entire community of teachers who were as excited to try new things as I was. Over the past few months, my attitude has changed. I honestly haven’t counted down the school days once (though I do know now, mostly because I have a lot to get done in a short time!).
I am excited about all of the things I’ve tried the past month of school and all of the even more amazing things I will get to do next year. I’m determined to help build up the staff and increase morale in my building so my colleagues can feel even the tiniest spark of what I’m feeling right now. No longer are the grouchy ones going to win! I’m no longer waiting for opportunities to fall into my lap; I’m advocating for myself and making my own. I hope the world is ready!