2012: It was a rough end to a tough year. Educators (and education) were the focus of local and national “reform” efforts, slashed budgets and bad press. Corporate privatizing and the MI lame-duck legislation paled, however, in the face of Sandy Hook – an unimaginable tragedy which left all teachers reeling and coping in classrooms across the country.
2013: If there is one thing we’ve learned from last year, it is the need for resilience! It takes inner strength to be a teacher, especially when guiding 25+ young lives, lobbying for ed funding basics and defending a profession against media slams and Big Business (all in a day’s work, right?!). Feeding resilience takes a little conscious effort, but finding time to celebrate the small joys and triumphs is a step toward a powerful recognition of what teachers really do, and the influence you all hold in your hands.
The Joy. The Jar.
I saw the Memory Jar idea on tumblr, and it was so brilliantly simple that I knew it could work in a busy classroom. Simply jot down a daily or weekly highlight and put it in the jar. A large jar may include funny classroom sayings, grateful moments or recognitions, special memories, photos or drawings. You can wait until 2014 to read the recorded joys, successes and accomplishments to your students, or you can dip in as needed. Reliving the ‘highs’ versus feeling the ‘lows’ helps everyone understand that progress may be incremental, but the little things, added up, mean the world.
from Jean MacLeod, Communications/Oakland Schools
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