Category Archives: affirmations

Back to School [2015]

It is no surprise that everyone has a hard time going back to work after a long vacation, and teachers are no different. Vacation means we get to spend uninterrupted quality time with our families and friends doing what we like to do.

In addition to enjoying a lot of unstructured time during the summer, I often participate in professional online book clubs and other self-selected professional learning activities. I know many teachers who do the same. (See this post for a glimpse of what I did this summer.)

Nevertheless, I often find myself having mixed feelings when summer break is finally over. Although I love summer because I’m on my own time and I can do with it as I wish, I love going back to school because I get to start fresh every year. I can reinvent myself and support my students as they reinvent themselves, too.


So, what follows are five affirmations, of sorts, about why I look forward to going back to school.

(1) I look forward to going back to work because even though I haven’t checked off everything on my mental summer to do list, I feel satisfied about what I did do and how it has made me better prepared for the new school year and a new group of students.

(2) I look forward to going back to work because right around this time, I begin to get a little bit bored. I love lazy summer days, but I also love teaching. I miss being in the classroom. Call me a nerd, but it’s true!

(3) I look forward to going back to work because I miss the excitement of connecting with students and colleagues. I miss the aha moments in the classroom. I miss the learning.

(4) I look forward to going back to work because I get up early while everyone is still sleeping. I use the extra time to read, write or mentally prepare myself for the day ahead. It’s a good way to ease into the day.

(5) I look forward to going back to work because I have learned to enjoy and appreciate summers off with my family. The break allows me to go back to school refreshed. I am particularly grateful for every moment of every day this summer. I have no regrets.

So, here’s the truth, guilt free and unapologetic: I wish I could have another week of vacation, or even just a day, and I’m glad to be heading off to school tomorrow.

This week I have the privilege of starting a year-long collaborate relationship with two awesome colleagues. Next week I get to meet my new class and immerse myself in learning. I can’t wait!

What are your affirmations for the new school year?

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Filed under affirmations, vacation

Patience

In my new role as ESL teacher I am learning self-discipline and patience, even before the school year begins.  Although I can be self-disciplined when I need to be, I am not a very patient person.  I am thrown off course when confronted with ambiguous situations and unresolved issues, such as not knowing exactly what I’ll be doing or how many students I will be responsible for, or even if I’ll have many students to work with.  I want to get started on my classroom, study the curriculum, plan for the first week with students, but I can’t.  Instead I’m forced to wait and let things take shape.

It’s a good exercise for me.  When I’m feeling calm I think that everything will work itself out. But, when I’m feeling unsure of myself (much of the time) I start doubting myself.  I revert to ineffective habits:  if I’m focused on negative outcomes then when they happen I won’t be blind sided.  Because that’s something else I don’t like: surprises.  So, I find myself in a catch 22 where every negative thought or self-doubt produces similar thoughts and more self-doubting.  It’s a never ending cycle.

So, I remind myself that my thoughts and feelings, positive and negative, nurture each other.  If I let go of preconceived notions and ideas I will open myself up to unexpected experiences and relationships.  And, who knows?  I may create something better and more satisfying than I’ve known to date.

So, here are some of my affirmations for this school year:

Stay focused on the moment so that I can enjoy it.
Acknowledge that all is well now so that I practice gratitude.
Stay focused on the positive so that I can recreate it.
Be open to whatever comes my way so that I can take advantage of it.

How do you deal with changes and uncertainties?

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Filed under affirmations, ESL