16 Things I Wish College Would Have Taught Me About Teach

16 Things I Wish College Would Have Taught Me About Teach

Most of my college prep for teaching was student centered. It revolved around how the brain learns, child development, and best teaching practices. That's good.

But there is another side to teaching beyond the students. It's a darker underbelly that often gets left out of bestselling books and Hollywood movies.

Here are 16 things I wish my education professors would've taught me in college:

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10 Signs of Burnout and Why You’re Getting Crispy Around the Edg

10 Signs of Burnout and Why You’re Getting Crispy Around the Edg

There's a big difference between being tired from teaching and being tired of teaching.

I've had a few months of distance from my decision to quit teaching. In that time I've realized there were so many signs of burnout, but I just wasn't paying attention.

With that in mind, I came up with 10 signs that you might be getting too crispy around the edges. Here are my potential red flags before burnout:

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How to Be a Teacher for More Than 5 Years Without Killing Yourself Or Others

How to Be a Teacher for More Than 5 Years Without Killing Yourself Or Others

There are some crazy teacher statistics out there. Many say that nearly half of all teachers will leave the profession within five years.

It took me nine years before I decided to walk away from teaching. Teacher burnout is very real. It’s important to gird the loins of your mind and heart to make teaching sustainable. And yes, I used gird and loins in the same sentence. Deal.

I decided to make a short list of things that we all know but easily forget.

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7 Tips for Taming the Ugly Beast of Disillusionment

7 Tips for Taming the Ugly Beast of Disillusionment

Teaching in October can make you want to dig out your eyes with a rusty spoon. Red ribbon week, report cards, parent conferences, quarterly tests, fundraisers, fall festivals, and don't even get me started on the insane blur and sugar coma that is Halloween. 

October was the time I started giving up on my to-do lists. It was the time where being a Walmart greeter didn't sound that bad. It was the time where I felt more frustrated and anxious the closer I got to the school parking lot. 

I never understood why we get a day off for Columbus Day and not Halloween. Federal holiday makers obviously aren't around children snorting Pixy Stix and all hopped up on Kit Kats and freedom.

It's that time where everyone can start to get a little sandpapery with each other. The shine of the new year has given way to end-of-quarter tests and cafeteria mystery meat.

But if you've run the October gauntlet before, then you know it does get better. There's a turkey flavored break at the end of tunnel. And pumpkin pie too. Mmmm, pumpkin pie…

Here are 7 tips to tame the ugly beast of disillusionment—

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Teaching Is an Occupation, Not an Identity (A Follow-up)

Teaching Is an Occupation, Not an Identity (A Follow-up)

“Connected or not, it’s still just a job.”

That was the last sentence from my earlier post about How Being a Connected Educator Killed   My Career. It’s been a popular piece and definitely the most controversial post I’ve written.

I wrote it as a cautionary tale on the darker side of technology and how passion can blind our effectiveness.

I felt I needed to follow up on a few things. I’ll start with one tiny and seemingly insignificant word—

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How Being a Connected Educator Killed My Career: The Critical Truth I Missed

How Being a Connected Educator Killed My Career: The Critical Truth I Missed

It was a sweaty June afternoon in the middle of 2008. I just about felt unwound from my fifth year of teaching.

I was making plans to revamp my class website. I had been on this Facebook thing that everyone kept talking about for a few months. And I had my very first smartphone—a Blackberry Curve. I felt all technological and connected. It felt pretty good. Pret-ty goood.

It Begins and Promptly Fizzles

I heard some chatter about Twitter on the BlackBerry forum I posted on. I sort of knew what it was. Micro blogging is what Twitter called it back then. I imagined very tiny people typing on very tiny computers. It seemed interesting. So I bit and signed up

It was fun at first. I read tweets, posted dumb jokes, and generally just wasted time.

I spent hours one day searching for people I knew. The only person I found was a guy named Jack. Jack Squat. Twitter in 2008 wasn’t what it is now. This was way before just about everyone and their house plants had a Twitter account.

Meh.

I don’t think I got a single reply from anything I posted that month. I barely got a response from anyone I tried to chat with. Disillusionment promptly set in, and I all but abandoned Twitter.

Then, about a year later, everything changed.

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5 Dangerous Things Breaking Bad Taught Me About Teaching

5 Dangerous Things Breaking Bad Taught Me About Teaching

I can’t think of a single TV show that gripped me like Breaking Bad. Sure there was Star Trek: The Next Generation and The X Files in high school. Not too long ago The Shield had me hooked. And The Walking Dead still keeps me thinking. But none of those shows` put a stranglehold on my mind like Breaking Bad.

I watched the pilot years ago in some kind of Amazon video trial. I heard a thing or two about it. I was intrigued when I saw the cover image of a middle-aged white guy standing, gun in hand, in his tighty-whities while a gas mask and battered RV sat in the background. I’m so glad I decided to watch it. I was hooked like a street druggie on some of that sweet baby crank.

The series finale aired a few weeks ago. Even though I knew it was in its last season, it was still sad. It was the same type of feeling I get when I finish book series or an incredible novel.

It will be hard completely saying goodbye to Breaking Bad. I’m still thinking about the nuances in the finale. It was an incredible run.

More than just entertainment, I’m glad the show reminded me of some dangerous truths about teaching. I say dangerous because not following them could have dire consequence for you or your students.

Here are five dangerous truths about teaching that I learned from Breaking Bad.

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Wonderful Words of Wellness, Wishes, and Wisdom

Wonderful Words of Wellness, Wishes, and Wisdom

It's been a month since I decided to walk away from teaaching. Or walk away from schools and classrooms, but not necessarily teaching as my internet pal, Bill, said. He has a good point. So did lots of people who have been responding to that post over the last few weeks. 

This time has given me some distance and much needed perspective. I'm not going to pretend that things are great—they're not. I'm not well, but I am a little better. I'm starting to see this with less sadness. I'm trying to view it as an opportunity for brighter days. With God's peace and wisdom, I'm slowly accepting that.

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