Friday, July 15, 2016

Things I'm Loving Friday XLVI: Article Edition

Happy FriYAY! Today is a most wonderful Friday because one, I finished my last week of STAAR-related work yesterday afternoon, and two, I'm going to Austin today! But before I jet off to the land of Longhorns, let's get on with our regularly scheduled Friday post, shall we? This time, in article form.

Train Teachers Like Doctors
This article is a really great one. And one that sits near to my heart. And without mentioning it by name, I feel as though it is speaking to the Teach for America program, and programs of the like – one with good intentions, but one that is not necessarily executed to the best of its ability, in my opinion, anyway. Let’s think about it. Doctors get years and years and years of hands-on training before they are given their own stethoscopes and scalpels, and while I’m not insinuating teachers need quite so many years of training, I am saying that the quality of teacher training matters. A lot of time and money goes into training doctors, and I would agree that it’s time and money well-spent. I would hope that my neurosurgeon – should I ever need one – has had THE very best training. And why should teacher training be any different? After all, we are the ones teaching the future doctors.

20 Signs You’re Doing Better Than You Think You Are
It’s very possible that I have shared this article with you guys before. But for any newbies to this adulting thing, I want to share it again. And it is a reality check for me, who will often complain about things that I really have no business complaining about. I complain about how I can’t afford to do SoulCycle on a regular basis, but I can also afford to spend money on a cow suit for Chick-Fil-A Cow Appreciation Day. Though I feel as though this will get quite a bit of use. Anyway, I have a job that I love, and though I’m working far more than the standard 40 hours, I also have time to do the things that give me life. Both my refrigerator and closet are full, I have an incredible crew of friends, I have goals, and I’ve got the cutest beagle pup in the neighborhood. I’m not sure where the complaints fit into that equation.

A Stanford Dean on Skills Every 18-Year-Old Should Have
I think I’ve shared this article before, too, but I think it’s such a good one, especially now that I have been a teacher and coach for a couple of years, and I have seen firsthand the repercussions that come from parents who do everything for their children. Heck, I saw them when I went to college – not only in the people around me at SRD (Spoiled Rotten Daughters, right?), but in myself a little bit as well. Whether the next step is college, or the next step is a real-world job, failure – at some level – is inevitable, a planner (whether paper or electronic) is an invaluable tool, and understanding that things aren’t always going to go the way you hoped or planned, are truths that should be etched in every 18-year-old’s mind. And though I’m 24 (so far past 18, you know), these are skills I’m still working on. Especially the managing money one.
Rollerblading is a good skill to have, too
Hey, New Teachers, It’s Okay to Cry in Your Car
THIS. ARTICLE. I’m technically not a “new teacher” anymore (okay, yes I am), but if this article doesn’t epitomize my first year teaching, I don’t know what does. For the first couple of months, I would literally pray for traffic on the Westpark Tollway so that I would be late to school. And I’m not late for anything. I had lost my joy and I was stressed out all the time. My parents were legitimately concerned over the fact that I was so visibly unhappy. And while I had been told that the first year would be hard, I naively thought I would be immune to it. “I’ve worked hard, I’ve earned this, and I’ve got this,” I told myself, as I threw on red heels and walked out the door for my first day at Bellaire High School. Fast forward two months and I was researching what else I could possibly do with an English degree, fighting back constant tears as I juggled teaching two preps with volleyball season. But you know what? It got better. It just took time. And I hope every new teacher understands that it’s going to be hard, but that the tough days are what make the great days so much sweeter. And yes, it’s really okay to cry in your car. But maybe save it for the drive home – you don’t want to mess up your make-up!

Teachers Respond: Veteran Teachers Cry in Their Cars Too
I may not be a brand new teacher anymore, but I’m not sure that I would call myself a veteran, either. However, this article was published as hundreds of readers responded to the above article, encouraging new teachers to stick with it, even admitting that after years and years and years of teaching, sometimes even they cry in their cars. And these emotions are there because they care. And that a glass of wine goes a long way. Teaching is an incredibly difficult profession, but it’s such a rewarding and fulfilling profession. And I know that the help and encouragement that comes from the people I work with every single day has helped me more than I can put into words. We have such an important job, and it’s worth all of our energy. So if a good cry is what allows you to start the next day fresh and with a new attitude, so be it. And for the record, DEVOLSON is totally a real thing. A very, very real thing.

The One Piece of Advice That Changed My Life
I loved this article. Absolutely, positively loved it. Six readers each shared a piece of advice that changed their lives, and that they still carry with them to this day. And while I loved and resonated with each one of these pieces of advice, the one that stuck to me the most was “Run Your Own Race.” We are deep in the age of Social Media. And it’s not going away anytime soon. And that’s okay! I love social media, and I don’t want it to go away. I think there’s a lot of good that can come from it, but there is also a lot of comparison that can come from it. Much like the actual running of races (maybe this is why I like this statement so much), we are all on our own paths, and we are all on our own timetables. It’s so easy for me to look at social media and see yet another engagement and feel as though I’m “falling behind” (I don’t actually think that, but it’s one that’s fairly relatable). Whether it’s jobs or friends or traveling or marriages or kids or whatever, you’re running your best race. And that’s all you can do.

And I think I gave you plenty to think about on this Friday morning. And with that, I'm off to BodyPump, and then for a quick weekend in Austin with my favorite shotgun rider. Hopefully we'll catch a glimpse of Charlie Strong while on campus. Hook 'em!

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