Teaching can be a lonely profession. Although surrounded by students throughout the day, teachers have no adults in the room to discuss strategies or ideas, to help make decisions, and to brainstorm options for dealing with students and parents. For new teachers, the loneliness of the classroom can be traumatic. Teachers need to support each other!
In my first two years if teaching, three of us were new, and we banded together to invent lessons, and we had a veteran teacher who was our department mentor who helped us with all of the issues new teachers encounter. In my third year of teaching, I was in a new district with no friends. Luckily, everyone ate lunch in the single faculty room, and many veteran teachers acted as mentors and advisors throughout that first year. My building had a culture of teachers helping each other, collaborating on student and faculty events, and cultivating friendships which continue to endure, some 40+ years later. Case in point:
Last week, an old friend and former colleague came to visit Pittsburgh. She has lived in California for several years, but she continues to make the pilgrimage to see friends in the "Burgh once a year. Nothing remarkable about that, right? What is remarkable, however, is the number of friends who showed up to see her- with just a few days notice! Teacher friends who are still in the classroom, and those who have been retired for 15+ years congregated last week, and it was as if we had never been apart for a moment. Out group was so cohesive and tight at school, and years later, we continue to support each other. A female group from my former school go out to lunch every month; our district has a North Allegheny Retired group with over 300 members. The group's officers and board offer fun activities, a Spring and Christmas luncheon, and group meetings, to assist those getting close to Medicare as well as information about Elder Law and other important topics. In many other districts, once a teacher retires, ties are broken, but for all of us who enjoyed teaching together and being a support group to each other, our retired lives continue to include those lifelong friends.
I urge teachers to try to cultivate a helping and sharing culture in your individual school buildings, and to enjoy the camaraderie of your colleagues. Teaching can be so lonely, but being surrounded by caring friends makes the job so much easier!
As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions.
Rittman Publishing, LLC ®
Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school. if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom. www.Fieldtripzoom.com GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 from The Authors' Zone. For more information about The Authors' Zone, please visit http://www.theauthorszone.com/submissions/
Visit Dede's webpage for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required reading. Signed copies are available www.dederittman.com Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics.
I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books. Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self. However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired!
Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom. Check them out! http://www.fieldtripzoom.com/
Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book. I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading. Please email me at email@example.com The website www.gradygetsglasses.com now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!
Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. https://www.facebook.com/gradygetsglasses?ref=hl
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