Tips for Tough Days From Our Fellow Teachers

by | 11.7.18

Jordan Potrzeba is a fourth-grade teacher at Dream Lake Elementary School in Florida. He can be found on Twitter @JordanPotrzeba.

This is my third year teaching. I love this work, I really do, but I get worn down sometimes – especially this time of year. That’s why I reached out over email to the Teacher2Teacher community to see what advice my fellow teachers might give to each other – and particularly to new teachers.

I got so many great responses back (thank you so much!), and I wanted to share a few that really picked me up, in hopes that they will give you a boost, too.

Here are some of the ways our fellow teachers persevere and stay motivated through tough weeks:

Peer teaching buddies

Peer Teaching Buddies! I love to organize opportunities throughout my day that allow my students to be teachers, learners and role models by organizing time for my students to teach peers in other teachers’ classes. It’s a beautiful opportunity for students to shine and feel empowered, and it’s a win-win for all students as they feel confident in the content they have learned through teaching – and the engaged listeners learn new content because they love to learn from their peers. It’s important to let go of our own teaching insecurities when organizing such opportunities and watch our students excel in these moments!”—Teacher April Cartee

Notes from former students

“In year three, I began collecting quotes at the end of the year from former students. These quotes were written to me and expressed their feelings and regard for my class. Each of these special moments serves as a monthly positive affirmation. I simply cut them up, place them in a jar and pull one out to remind myself why I do what I love each day!” —Teacher Brandy Williams

The best thing for your students

“Remember why you are a teacher. You make a difference in students’ lives every day. For some of your students, you are the best thing that happens to them every day. You are in the greatest and most rewarding occupation there is.” —Teacher William Vaughn

I really appreciate this community of fellow educators who are willing to exhaust themselves for the sake of kids, and who are committed to finding ways to recharge. We all have tough days, and the more we’re willing to open up to each other, the more we can grow together and be there for each other. Thank you for all you do!

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