Hello, friends! I’m writing to you this morning, refreshed and exhausted at the same time after coming back from our week-long beach vacation in Destin. The sand and water were fantastic! I probably could have used a bit more sunscreen … but, oh well. I’m pumped to continue my F.I.E.R.C.E. Teacher Series with the first of the “Es” … let’s talk about being an excited and energetic teacher!
I’m generally an excited person, both inside and outside the classroom. If you’ve ever been to one of my presentations or workshops, you know that I always introduce myself and then give attendees a fair warning that, whenever I talk about something that I really like, I get super excited and start talking really fast. It happens! That’s just how I roll, friends! I’m pretty much the same in my classroom, and it helps that I’m a huge geek about my content area. I realized, however, toward the beginning of my teaching career that everyone doesn’t get quite as hyped about the functions of the branches of government, Constitutional Amendments, and landmark Supreme Court cases as me – weird, right?! 😉 So, in order to engage my students in our content, I need to be excited about the content. Can you imagine walking into a class that you’re not particularly pleased about taking and the teacher is dry, boring, and clearly NOT excited about teaching you? How horrible would that be? So, even on the days that I’m not 100% excited to be out of my jammies and my recliner, I’m making it my mission to be excited about not only what I’m teaching, but the fact that I get to teach – sit back and think about the fact that we GET TO TEACH. We GET to have a direct impact on the future. How cool is that?! In what other professions could we have this kind of influence? Get excited! We get to teach!
My students often say that they have no idea how I have so much energy. My daughters are 5 and 7 and still don’t sleep through the night. When they wake up for milk or a trip to the bathroom, they don’t wake up their dad, but instead, insist on having Mommy help. I’ve asked them why they don’t wake up my husband, and they both reply, “Mommy, Daddy is asleep.” Ohhhh, he has them trained! Being an energetic teacher is hard, especially when we’re tired, don’t feel well, or when the kids don’t want to let us go when we take them to school or the babysitter in the morning. However, I’d much rather be excited about what I teach and energetic in my classroom than, for lack of a better word, “blah.” My students can expect me to “drop mad beats” and “spit bars” about our content if they need help remembering the concept of federalism or the difference between dual and cooperative federalism. They can expect me to stand on tables to make review a bit more fun and do toe touches for moral support before they take a test. How can we be energetic about teaching, even when we aren’t? That’s a million dollar question, isn’t it? As for me, I try to take a “when my feet hit the floor in the morning, it’s go-time” attitude. And God and coffee. Lots of both.
Check back soon for the “Rs” of the F.I.E.R.C.E. Teacher Series! I hope you’re having a fantastic summer!