Advice For New Teachers

Fitness Junkie

In September of 1999 after 9 years in the business world, I began a teaching career. Everything about that time was perfect, (even the pay cut). Sure I was clueless and constantly sweaty, but I was paired with a master mentor and although I’m pretty sure she wasn’t thrilled to have a chatty classroom mate, I was intuitive enough to watch, follow, and stuff as many of her teaching techniques away into my empty bag of tricks.

My bag has grown. Today I wanted to focus on something positive, so I’ve unpacked my bag of tricks to share some of its contents for new teachers.

Go to stuff. Sporting events, talent shows, plays, concerts are a good place to start. If you can get to an event outside of school, even better. Kids love seeing their teachers at events and that kid that you can’t get to, may suddenly have your back the next time class gets unruly.

Observe teachers that amaze you. Digest and reflect what you see, but slow down before rushing to adopt any of the classroom management techniques you like until you’ve tweaked and made them work for your teaching style.

Try to make every student in your room feel seen. Even if it’s just an exchanged smile, the goal is to have your students know they matter in your room.

Apologize. Bad days happen. I’m not proud to admit I’ve gotten snippy with a student or two. It feels awful, but it happens. When it does, apologizing goes a long way in repairing relationships. Students may act like they don’t even remember you got snippy, but their smiles after you apologize tell a different story.

Call home with good news! It’s the greatest when the parent or loved one learns you are not calling to discuss poor effort or behavior. You will usually get silence followed by this question, “Which teacher is this again?” (That kid will be your fan for life!)

Listen and Watch. Trends are not hard to spot. Ask your students to show you the newest dances. If you are feeling brave, use it as an incentive and let them teach you some moves for accomplishing such tasks as a full class of students for 5 days in a row.

Let your students get to know you. Hang your diploma, running medals, family photos. Show your human side so they can see you are more than just their teacher.

It is okay if you don’t know everything. The days of sage on the stage are over. Classrooms are open and kids have lots to teach us. The phrase, “I don’t know,” is powerful and opens up dialogue.

Be a welcoming and safe space for every kid in your room. Model respect and make it very clear that you will not tolerate any unkind words or actions. One of my greatest teaching experiences happened this year when a former student returned for a visit and told me how much it meant to him that I intervened when a student tried to make fun of his sexuality. I honestly didn’t remember that moment, but he sure did.

Finally, be good to yourself. Recharge when you feel the battery emptying. The work will still be there, but you will be better at it if you take time for the other things that bring you joy. Cry in the car, then laugh because you are crying. Tomorrow is a new day for each of us.

You’ve got this.

What Happens Next?

Fitness Junkie

 

 

 

neon signage

Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels.comI a

 

 

 

I had a plan. It’s not all that impressive, stress does weird things to my stomach.  My plan was to stick to my daily food routine with the goal of going out every night once the band- aid is off of the world and Covid-19 becomes a memory.  I’m starting to rethink the plan, and not just because the calendar will most likely say Bathing Suit season by then.When the curtain goes up and the “Yes,We’re Open” sign appears on the world, we should be more Pooh less Tigger. Cautious thinkers instead of happy huggers. Sorry, I’m sure that is not what my only reader wants to see. (Hi Mom) but I worry that all this quarantine flat curve stuff could be for nothing if we jump back into crowded bars and sweaty gyms. Gross? Good! I’m not happy about this theory and with all this time, I have lots of thoughts.

When it is deemed safe, will that awkward step and stop moment before greeting someone with a hug become the new normal? Will private conversations have a 6ft gap between them? Theme parks? I never want to go to another one. Will this hermit lifestyle get old once the memory becomes as blurry as the days of the week or the last time I wore mascara? These are legit questions but since I don’t want to return to  “What day is it?” I am actually hoping for a post Covid19 plan.  I’m willing to reserve my spot at a smaller yoga class with fewer bodies.  I think hugs will be okay by Thanksgiving, and I’m willing to wait until then to keep my family and friends safe. I will purchase gift cards and go to restaurants during off peak times. I know the 6ft line rules are not feasible, but maybe 3ft tape lines?  I am kind of enjoying not having the person behind me ask about my protein cookies, or reading the cards I buy.

I’m sorry I am not offering a more optimistic plan but for me it IS a hopeful plan as in,  “I’m hopeful we are still here to tolerate the plan,”  or  a different one from an expert who knows stuff about this stuff.

At least my brain is thinking. Too often these days I’m just sitting and staring out the window picturing squirrels in tiny face masks.

 

 

Strong Because it’s Your Only Option

Fitness Junkie

As hard as it is to admit sometimes, marriages create roles. I do the food shopping, my husband takes care of taking the trash out. Emptying litter boxes is a team effort, but changing sheets and cleaning falls on me because clutter makes me crazy and my nose is a little less tolerant than my husband’s.  A recent back injury has given me all the roles and the realization that many of my friends live this way all the time.

This blog entry is compliments of changed lightbulbs, clean letterboxes,  wheelbarrows full of trash taken down a long driveway, and clean sheets. I’m living your life and it has been exhausting. You get this done on a daily basis and I’ve never been invited to your pity parties, because there hasn’t been any.

Is it lonely? I know it is and I’m sorry it’s taken me this long to realize how strong you are because you have to be.

This is short because I am tired, but I see you and I’m inspired.

One Word

Fitness Junkie

At the conclusion of a year, I ask for a word to guide me through the following one. One year my word was MORE, and I got more stress, sadness, and even more injuries. The next year my word was STRETCH and it’s the same year that I discovered and fell head over knees in love with hot yoga. Crazy right? I don’t need to go retelling the story of how I always said, “I hate yoga,” just know that I stretched and continue to stretch with love every week in that hot and sweaty studio I love.

This year I picked the word PUBLISH as a way of urging the universe to help me achieve a goal of getting one of my books accepted by a literary agent. I’m still using that word on my vision board, but a different word chose me in the middle of a hot yoga class. I heard and actually felt the word LIGHT, so now I’m accepting that word as a guide.

I won’t lie, the word comes with some pressure and questions. Am I the light? Should I lighten up? Who needs my light? I’m honestly not sure about any of it, but I’ll trust the light and see where we go.

If you pick a word I’m curious to o know your process?

Big Little Mouse

Fitness Junkie

A little mouse went for a ride, hidden in Santa’s sack.
His plan was to eat cookie crumbs,
From all of Santa’s snacks.
Chocolate chip, and snickerdoodle, sugar cookie crumbs.
He’d sneak out for tiny bites, then quickly scurry back.

Santa delivered all the toys and headed to his sleigh, he seemed a little bit confused at how much the bag now weighed. 
He made it home and went to bed tired from his night. But the big little mouse had a tummy ache,.

No sleep for him tonight.

Holiday Writing Contest- Self-Care Santa

Fitness Junkie

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The head elf called Santa on Christmas Day,

to make sure toy delivery all went ok.

“Mrs. C and I are out of reach; we are treating ourselves to a month at the beach.”

Santa took the advice he had read in a letter.

“Taking care of yourself always makes you feel better.”

He and the Mrs. packed up for a break.

A month long escape was not too long to take.

The first week they rested and napped in the sun.

They dipped toes in the ocean and had lots of fun.

Week two warm massages no more cold, ice, or snow.

“My body feels rested, Ho, Ho,

Ho, Ho,

Ho!”

Yoga on the beach was the theme of week three.

They stretched, yoga posed, and relaxed happily.

By the end of week four they were both filled with joy.

Ready and excited for building more toys.

Another Vote For Hot Yoga

Fitness Junkie

Today I went to the dentist. I hate the dentist. We’re talking sleepless nights leading up to the appointment, heart palpitations and trembling in the chair type hate, but I go because avoiding the dentist will inevitably cause more pain one day.

Today I had a crown replaced and I was trying to be brave. I meditated before the appointment and I had my mantra ready. Then I sort of yelped when the Novocain needle went in, and that caused my throat to go numb. My mantra went from “Be likeable,” to “Don’t cry.”

Somewhere during the drilling, I heard my yoga instructor’s voice saying, “the struggles here will help you off the mat.” That’s when tree pose happened in my mind.

Yeah, I went there, and I held that pose for an hour in my mind. Arms raised, right leg bent, and I was beautifully calm in that imaginary tree pose. I’m not kidding, Hot Yoga really did get me through today’s struggle.

I’m pretty sure I’ll need to master crow pose and every other handstand out there before I’ll like colonoscopies, but there’s hope and warm whiskey and water through a straw when it’s all over.

Namaste.

Another Vote For Hot Yoga

Fitness Junkie

Today I went to the dentist. I hate the dentist. We’re talking sleepless nights leading up to the appointment, heart palpitations and trembling in the chair type hate, but I go because avoiding the dentist will inevitably cause more pain one day.

Today I had a crown replaced and I was trying to be brave. I meditated before the appointment and I had my mantra ready. Then I sort of yelped when the Novocain needle went in, and that caused my throat to go numb. My mantra went from “Be likeable,” to “Don’t cry.”

Somewhere during the drilling, I heard my yoga instructor’s voice saying, “the struggles here will help you off the mat.” That’s when tree pose happened in my mind.

Yeah, I went there, and I held that pose for an hour in my mind. Arms raised, right leg bent, and I was beautifully calm in that imaginary tree pose. I’m not kidding, Hot Yoga really did get me through today’s struggle.

I’m pretty sure I’ll need to master crow pose and every other handstand out there before I’ll like colonoscopies, but there’s hope and warm whiskey and water through a straw when it’s all over.

Namaste.

Stroller Parade

Fitness Junkie

Halloween 🎃 Entry
Stroller passing stroller

It’s a baby parade.

There’s a pumpkin onesie in a green hat grandma made.

Oh! a baby spider in a cobweb keeping warm.

An Oreo,

A princess, 

A tornado? A cute storm.

It’s funny that these babies can’t say trick and can’t say treat.

They have bags and bags of candy that they cannot even eat.

Sleepy heads start bobbing and they fight to stay awake,

A magic potion bottle is a welcomed treat to take. 

Sent from my iPhone