I ask you this in all seriousness. What things do you really need to do your job to the best of your ability? I don’t mean pencils or markers (although for some of you this might be a fight) I mean what do you need?
A supportive department?
A quiet office?
A home separate from your work or an office at home?
A best friend or partner?
Someone to make your lunches?
A clean house?
What do you really truly need to be in the right mindset to do your job everyday?
5 thoughts on “What is important?”
To the best of my ability:
– my wife to bounce ideas off and to remind me of my own stated goals and principles
– one other teacher in the building that I can compete with on having great lessons
– I also need people to race bikes with, so I can get out some frustrations through physical activity.
– places in my classroom(s) that provide an organizational structure (bins for supplies, work, expectations posters, inspirational quotes, student work)
– an administrator that provides me with both feedback and specific compliments
– beer and good food on the weekends
Peers to talk to and collaborate with. Lessons always go better if I’ve taken the time to do that.
Bosses who are thoughtful and make suggestions or put research in front of me (because I’m most likely to change my thinking when given time to ponder and reading is good for that). I wilt under authoritarian rule.
Enough cash flow that I don’t have to worry about finances and can occasionally buy nice things. The speed that I lost buying power every year I taught was a stressor.
Time outside of work to:
-run and hike (because that is how I meditate)
-practice on my ukulele (because everyone should be working on something they can see/hear themselves get better at with practice and patience. And ukes are awesome)
-read (news, philosophy, fiction, comics)
-listen to music (because sometimes songs are the only things that help me to breath when I am overwhelmed/lost/hurt/crumbling and my playlists are the best way to judge the mood I am trying to achieve)
-make good art (because I think being a maker is an important practice, even when it’s only for yourself)
-play with the people I love (because it’s important to me to remember why I work to improve this human machine)
* Things going well enough at home that I don’t carry problems into work
* The internet, where I get inspiration and conversations with far-away colleagues
* People to talk to when things are unbearably bad.
* At least one boss who understands/supports you professionally.
* Freedom to not have to teach out of a written curriculum page-by-page.
Everything else, I can deal with.
1) Supportive family – they get it that they come first, that they make my heart beat, but if I’m working at home [a lot], they know that this work is important to me too.
2) Trusting administrators and colleagues – they trust me to give my students the best that I can give. They leave me alone to do what I need to do. They support me when I reach out for their help.
3) Good food – I really really appreciate a good meal.