Ten years ago to this day, I almost quit teaching.
I felt overworked, tired, frustrated, helpless and so far removed from the kind of teacher I wanted to become when first entering the profession.
I starting teaching to make a profound difference; but there I was, barely able to get through the day without having a breakdown.
I was disconnected from my students; stuck in my own head; constantly second guessing my decisions; and woefully under- prepared for the monumental tasks I was asked to complete.
It was clear I needed help, but I was too proud and stubborn to ask.
I assumed everyone else knew exactly what they were doing, or like me, far too busy to help a colleague in need.
Every time I drifted by other teachers’ classrooms, it only served to confirm my suspicion. These were consummate professionals who had kids eating out of the palm of their hand. Me? I was an imposter. Nothing more than a good actor who managed to fool people into thinking I could teach.
And I was ready to quit.
Have you ever felt this way?
Teaching can be an incredibly lonely and isolating profession if contained by the walls of your classroom, or worse, by the space between your two ears.
Only by connecting to others can we start to free ourselves from this space.
For me, it took reaching out in desperation to finally get the help I needed. I found some trusted mentors and invited them into my classroom to observe. After only a few visits they helped me re-focus, get out of my head, and create the transformative opportunities for students I longed to create when starting the profession.
The best part: they made it seem so simple.
Are you getting the help you need? Have you connected to a collaborative network of professional colleagues and peers? Do you have a mentor?
Coaching and Blended Learning
Twelve years ago, my own growth as a teacher was limited to what the school provided.
Apart from a mishmash of online resources- scattered across several poorly organized websites, it was up to me to make sense of it all.
Fortunately, we live in a far more connected world today. We have access to professional communities spread across several platforms, and can enroll in online courses to help ensure we are improving our practice.
Project- Based Learning Online Course and Coaching
Recently, I put together a blended course that helps teachers create the kind of experiences they know are most transformative for students. The course breaks down the seemingly complex into small, bite- size pieces. The best part- you can learn at your own pace; in your pajamas, with some coffee by the fireplace, or after school, when students have left.
Get access to the course here: Project- Based Learning Course.
The course will also help connect you to a collaborative network of peers in the same position you are now. This network will help strengthen your work, get you beyond the walls of your classroom, and ensure the projects and experiences you plan for students have the most lasting impact.
You can check out a preview of the course here: Project- Based Learning Course.
As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out if you are interested in finding out more, or simply want to share what is exciting or challenging you in your educational role: firstname.lastname@example.org.