N: Never Settle
N in BURNED-IN Teacher:
As I have read and reflected on my past blog entries, I've realized that I need to simplify my mission and my blog posts. You blog, you learn! Therefore, let's keep this blog simple starting now. Let's start with explaining each letter of the BURNED-IN Teacher Program, letter-by-letter, over the next few weeks.
And the simplicity continues with:
What It Means:
This is such a tough concept to write about and discuss, because the idea of settling is so relative to your personality, strengths, and goals. I, coincidentally, had a deep conversation about settling with my dad last night. In my humble opinion, settling can be defined simply: when you are in a situation solely focused on someone else's growth over your own. Now, teaching is a service, I get it, but if you either don't have time, or make the choice not to grow yourself, you are in a place of settling in that position. That pretty much sums up how I have felt in certain situations in my career. How about you?
Never settling=getting real (real uncomfortable, that is)
Close your eyes or get a pencil. Either make a mental or written list of the three things that you do each work day that take a majority of your time. Now, think about your personality type, strengths, and goals. Do they match up? If not, whose fault is that? What we can't do is immediately blame someone else for the way that we spend our time. (I mean, maybe we can, but let's not go to that place right away.)
During my deepest and darkest moments of my career in education, I reflect and am ashamed at the amount of times that I complained and built walls in front of my own escape routes by not taking action on the things that were holding me back from reaching my full potential. I was in a position of settling for where I was and what I was doing. It wasn't good for anyone, especially my students.
In order for me to feel that I was getting out of Settletown, I needed to get uncomfortable. Seriously uncomfortable. I started watching and learning how to become a Google Certified Educator and, let me be honest here, I felt so dumb. I still do, but to me, that is growth. I surround myself with people who know more than me as much as I can. For me, discomfort=growth, so I am uncomfortable A LOT.
Questions You Can Ask Yourself:
What do I spend most of my time on at work?
Do those things match my strengths, talents, or personality?
What actions can I take to start growing and changing in some way?
- Forgive yourself. Seriously. Stop feeling guilty about where you are in your journey and how you are feeling about it. Being who you are, where you are is part of the amazing journey that can and will go wherever you choose. It really is up to you to decide where the path will go. Own it. Be proud of it and, damn it, be EXCITED about it. This is your LIFE we are talking about here. Don't take it lightly.
- Chances are, if you've landed on this site, you've already come to the conclusion that you need help or that you need someone to understand you, your situation, and your feelings about it. If you've already tried talking to someone and their advice to you is to, "Just make it to summer, and then you'll feel better," and you know you need more than that, it's time to start searching somewhere else. Try other circles that you've never tried before or try the PRIVATE Burned-In Teacher Facebook Community , where we're here for you, 24/7. Join us and read about other's journeys or tell us about your journey so far, ask questions, or support another teacher. We're in this together!
Things I have used to help me along my journey of "never settling":
- As I've mentioned before, I got my Master's Degree in Elementary Education and although it strengthened my resume', it didn't strengthen ME. It wasn't until I challenged myself to start my journey by going through the Google Trainings to become a Google Certified Educator (Levels 1 and 2), then a Google Trainer, and now a Google Innovator. I surrounded myself with educators with the same passions as me and I get to lead educators who WANT to better themselves using EdTech in their classrooms. THAT, my friend, grew me. And now, I am constantly learning from my peers and other teachers all the time! Visit https://edutrainingcenter.withgoogle.com/certification to begin your journey, but only if it is your desire. Don't do it because others are doing it. DO WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL GROWTH.
- The book that started me on my journey out of burnout way back in 2014 was the oldie, but goodie: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephan Covey. This, along side of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin is a match made in Heaven, I tell you. I'm not suggesting you read them at the same time, but if that's your thing, I'm not going to judge you.
- Watch. Learn. Search for help from articles, YouTube videos, and the opinions of strangers. They may just have that bit of advice that helps you decide what needs to begin to change to help you on your journey to be a happier, more fulfilled human being.
Take a deep breath. We are our own heroes. You can do this. Burn on.
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