No, this is not a Kaiser Permante ad.
Instead, it’s a word that resonated with me today when I had the chance to sit down with some friends who also happen to be teachers. Teaching, unlike most professions, allows for a complete do-over every year; new kids, new parents, new attempts to get it right.
With this rare opportunity comes a kind of pressure that is very difficult to articulate to non-edcuators. I’m not going to lie, a lot (if not all) of this pressure is probably self-induced. Perhaps it’s my Type A-ness that gets in the way, but I ache for a school year where I feel that I accomplished all that I set out to do (read: perfect).
So, instead of bemoaning what I know, in my heart of hearts, is…let’s just say it, impossible, I choose to focus on thriving.
What that means for me is this: I will cultivate inspiration for this profession outside the four walls of my classroom. I will make it my responsibility to nurture my talents and seek to find ways to strengthen my weaknesses. I plan to thrive by choosing the less is more approach. I will thrive by cultivating my relationships with students and their families. I will thrive by trying new things. I will thrive by embracing my failures and the failures of my students as we attempt to work towards improving ourselves. I will thrive because I know this is the only way to maintain my enthusiasm for this profession.
The fact that I know the process will be rife with mistakes is actually quite freeing. Perfection, I’m learning, is a sham and striving for it only makes me less engaged as a person and ultimately, as a teacher.
So, here’s to thriving and the possibilities a new school year can bring!