Bush Focus

Notes for the Week

Notes for the Week

Wow! It have been a VERY bus week! Congrats to Sandy McDaniel for being selected as our Stellar Staff Member!! With our shortage of subs this week, I'd like to give a BIG "Shout Out" to our first grade team for covering Mrs. Yore's class. When I approached them about helping, they immediately stepped up to the plate. Thank you so much for understanding and doing what is best for our kids! Thanks to all staff members for working hard this week and for being awesome! I sent out our first quarter newsletter to our parents today. It was a basic overview of our first quarter. As I was preparing it, I couldn't believe all that we have accomplished during this first quarter!

1. Congrats to Heidi for completing the UOI work and the observation has been completed!

2, Next Thursday will be the Great American Shakeout beginning at 10:15. Please be sure and review your earthquake drill information with your classroom prior to this time.

3. Monday's PD Agenda has already been sent out through Bush News. Please be sure and review before Monday. We have a lot to accomplish!

4. The October Staff Meeting will be held Tuesday at 3:30 in the library.

5. Missouri Day is scheduled for October 21st. Please be sure to some type of activity with your class.

6. Time for a celebration! We'll have a staff celebration on October 22nd. Lisa will be sending out your drink sign up shortly.

7. We will begin our fall Bookfair preview on October 23rd. Michelle Kemp will be posting a sign up sheet on the fridge very shortly and you will need to sign up for a time. The books will be displayed from October 23 - 27. We will not have sales past the 27th.

8. PTO will be providing conference meals on October 26 and 27. The menu for Monday includes pulled pork sandwiches, chips, cole slaw; Tuesday soup and salad. Desserts will be available both days. They will have something prepared for Danielle.

9. Red Ribbon Week is coming up soon! Chelsea will be sending out information to the classrooms here shortly.

I hope you have a relaxing weekend because you deserve it! See you on Monday!

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When Teaching Gets Tough: 8 Tips From Veteran Teachers

by Elizabeth Mulvahill

Is it just me, or does teaching seem to be an exponentially harder job than it used to be? Between curriculum changes, standardized testing, teacher evaluation systems, and just the general craziness of managing a room full of diverse learners, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Most of my friends are teachers and sadly, I can think of only a few who are happy in their profession. Many are wracking their brains, searching for something else they can do with their life.

I began thinking about the epidemic of dissatisfaction and wondered- has teaching always been this hard? Have there always been this many teachers stressed out and feeling like failures? We could probably make a list a mile long of what has changed and what is wrong with today’s system, but there is already so much negativity out there with regard to teaching.

What I really wanted to know was: What is it at the end of the day that keeps teachers devoted to this impossibly difficult work? Are there any constants that have remained true through the ages that make the hassle worth it?

I sat down with some of the wise, wonderful veteran teachers in my life and asked them. Their resounding answer? Students, students, always the students! The incredible privilege of having little people in their life. Witnessing the amazing human and academic growth that happens over the course of a school year. Investing in relationships that matter—with students and their families, their work community. Laughing, crying, cheering, worrying—in other words, reaping the rewards of being emotionally involved. Knowing in their bones that they are doing something that matters in this world.

So then I asked them for advice for all the teachers out there that are struggling and coming close to that make-it or break-it point in their profession. What tips could they offer to teachers that are feeling discouraged? This is what their answers boiled down to:

8 Tips to Make it Through the Rough Patches:

  1. Reflect. Find a moment every day to think about what went well. What this looks like will be different for every teacher. It may be a moment of silent meditation at the end of the day, or a quick jot in your notebook or iPhone when you think “ah! I want to remember this!”

  2. Stay positive. Focus on successes, learn from mistakes and let them go. Teachers can be so hard on themselves! Take the long view and know that over the course of a school year, the influence you have on your students will result in many more positive moments than negative.

  3. Find celebrations in everyday moments. That look—eyes wide, mouth open—that comes when a concept finally takes hold. The beautiful drawing a student offers you. A little hand that creeps into yours as you walk down the hall. Witnessing a spontaneously-offered kindness between children. The happy dance as students line up to go somewhere they’ve been looking forward to.

  4. Keep your sense of humor. Start collecting pithy eecards from the internet. Read Buzzfeed daily. Find Pinterest boards on teacher humor. Search out people that make you laugh, lighten your load.

  5. Focus on relationships, not data or paperwork or politics. Yes, unfortunately, those things are necessary evils in this day and age of teaching. Bring everything back to the human level and keep your perspective.

  6. Take pride in seeing students become empowered learners at every level. A math concept grasped, a heart-felt paragraph written, a chapter book conquered. The little successes add up to great progress over the course of a year.

  7. Have faith in your abilities as a teacher. You worked hard to get here—spent years studying and observing and interning. You’ve logged hundreds of hours becoming the professional teacher you are. You can figure this out!

  8. Never forget—teaching always has been, and always will be, an honorable, worthwhile pursuit. As corny as it sounds, you really are touching the future when you teach a child.

What keeps you going when teaching gets tough? We'd love to hear in the comments.