This summer I am participating in the "Unshakeable" book study hosted by the author Angela Watson and Frankie Robinson. You can join the facebook group through Angela's Cornerstone website. There is also a book study of this book being hosted by Tales of a First Grade Teacher, Adventures in Teaching, ELA Everyday, First Grade Found Me, and Sweet and Sassy in Second.
I joined this book study to refresh, reflect, and be ready to respond with passion and purpose in my classroom this fall.
I am starting a new job this next school year as a 4th - 6th grade Gifted Specialist. I have been teaching 6th - 8th Science for the last 3 years and K-2 before that. I feel like my journey has been a zig-zag leading me back to the elementary classroom where I started and I love to be.
I love how this book starts. I felt like I was sitting down chatting with my best friend in her living room. The tone is warm and encouraging. The theme of the first chapter is to be your own, authentic, passionate self; connect and create relationships with your students; and manage your energy, investing in your personal life so you can renew and have more to share with your students.
My friend, Christina, recently described teaching by saying, "It's not the words on the page, it's the actor on the stage."
A great classroom is 100% dependent on the teacher. So the "teacher" needs to not only schedule time teaching tasks but also for hobbies, family, and the things that renew the body, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
In chapter 2, Angela outlines how to be efficient with your time and develop productive routines that enable you to create the space in your life for your passions outside of teaching. Being strategically efficient, protects our energy, allows time for ourselves, and in return makes us better in the classroom.
I know that when I make time for family activities, reading a book that is not for professional development, getting together with friends, going to movies, and relaxing, I am a happier teacher - and if the teacher ain't happy...