Once in my life I used to get my knickers in a knot about all the issues plaguing education. I could wax on for hours about standardized testing, the inability of my last district’s central office to stick with a new program longer than a year, the public’s belief that teachers were to blame for all of society’s ills, the ridiculous amounts of paperwork I had to complete (including a 30-page lesson plan I had to turn in bi-weekly), and every other complaint we hear teachers or pundits make. It used to tire me out and suck all of my energy from me, and meanwhile nothing changed.
Ultimately I decided to let go of everything not in my control and focus on what I had the power to change. I changed where I lived and worked, I changed how I taught, and I changed the extra duties and activities I took on to ones that fed my spirit. Once I let go, it was amazing to see how much power I had to make changes. And my small changes are rippling out to the kids and teachers I work with, effecting wider change than when I was campaigning against all the injustices of the world.
It starts here, with me. In the end I am more effective if I stay positive and focus on what is right in front of me. It also allows me to continue to have the energy to teach with the passion that brought me to the profession in the first place.