I am five years out of college. Six years away from my methods teaching classes. There are times when I wish I could go back to that EDU350 class and relearn some of the strategies and techniques I was taught. Honestly, I don’t remember a whole lot from those classes. One thing I do remember has really stuck with me.
One of my most beloved professors was prepping us on our upcoming 5 week “pre-student teaching” placement. We were required to teach several lessons and spend a significant amount of time in one particular classroom and work closely with that teacher.
Our 5 week placement started towards the end of February/beginning of March. The wise professor stated: These are the hardest weeks for teachers. The longest stretch without a break. They’re exhausted, be a blessing to them.” At the time I didn’t fully understand or grasp the reality of those words. Six years later in my fourth year of teaching, I get it.
Third quarter is the hardest quarter for me. Cabin fever has set in, there’s a stack of papers to be graded, 5 more weeks till spring break, bulletin boards need to be changed, I’m hitting the snooze button too many times, and the students are just as tired as I am. Where am I? Drinking an extra cup of coffee during the day and crashed on the couch in the evening.
From previous years, I have always found that the hard and exhausting work of third quarter starts to reap its benefits come fourth quarter. The light bulbs have turned on, behaviors have improved and the spring air brings new energy. The other week when I was in the midst of my mid-winter slump, I found this wonderful devotion that really hit the spot.
If you’re feeling those winter teacher blues, please read this. It has helped me get away from the “make it through today” mindset. Slowly and prayerfully, I am humbly trying to embrace each winter day with joy, enthusiasm, and patience.