I’ve recently found two new FREE games online that I think are a lot of fun. Not only are these educational games fun but they are also great learning tools. You could use these games as a teacher or as a parent or heck even just for fun if you are an adult
I hope you will all go check these out! Even if you don’t have a class to use them with right now they could go into your lesson plans for next year. But….to be perfectly honest I like them so much I keep going back to them for myself. Especially the Budget Hero. It is really interesting to see how the changes you make affect the economy. It’s made me rethink what I want in a president.
Try out the games and let me know what you think! Will you use them in a class or with your own children? Were they fun for you?
Wow. So this is the first year that the students I watched grow up are going to graduate. This years high school graduation will have students I taught in the seventh and eighth grades. I should say, they aren’t the only students I’ve taught that have graduated but this is the first class (as in all of the graduating class) that I’ve taught. I’m getting a little emotional. Overall I think they might have been my favorites although the class behind them is so close it is hard to tell.
So graduation is in a few weeks and although I don’t usually go to things like that I think I’m probably going to go with my best friend, who was also their teacher. I’ve been to Orlando and New York with a lot of these kids and watched them grow up into beautiful young men and women. It’s almost like watching my own kids grow up I guess because for the last six years they were my kids. What with me not having children of my own and all. I can’t even begin to imagine how emotional I will be at my sons high school graduation.
Since I haven’t been a teacher as long as probably most of the people that will read this I might sound naive. I wonder if more experienced teachers ever stop feeling sappy? I guess around the time that I stopped feeling like all of the kids were mine was when I probably decided I wouldn’t make it for an entire 30 years in public education. I guess I get too emotionally vested in the first little rugrats. Boy would they laugh if they knew I said that. They all thought I was mean and evil…among the many cute names I heard was ’soul sucker’ ‘the evil one’ ‘general’…teehee. And those are the ones I feel comfortable typing out ;)
Time for me to end this post before I go down a line of thought about why I won’t be a career teacher in public education.
I write my essay to ask you important questions:
Crazy to love something so much that you can’t do it, huh?
Did you have a favorite class of students?
Was your favorite class one of your firsts?
How is their high school graduation affecting you this year?
This is a question I’ve asked myself repeatedly. As a teacher mentor it was my job to take a new teacher and teach him or her everything he didn’t learn in teacher school and that was usually a lot. I’ve tried for years to perfect my teacher burnout radar so I can step in and offer more help before I lose them completely. Unfortunately, the warning signs are sometimes hard to spot but there are a few things that always make my radar go Beep! Beep! Beep!
• If a teacher says she has all of the problem children
Well this is just never true, but if the teacher in question thinks it is there is a problem. Usually this means she needs to be taught classroom management skills or I will lose her.
• If a teacher says she is grading papers all weekend
No one is going to last long if they are working all week and then bringing home more stuff and working for free. Yes, I said for free. Any time a teacher is devoting outside of her school hours she does for free and this eventually causes resentment. When I hear about this free work I know it is time to step in and help rework the way she is grading. If she can’t do it during work hours something needs to change. No free time is a sure way to burn out.
• If students love or hate a teacher
I’ve noticed that if there are excessive amounts of either emotion with a brand new teacher then it is because they are becoming too personally involved with the students. This is bad on so many levels and usually leads to the teacher feeling overwhelmed because she is focusing on a personal connection instead of teaching. Yes, I know personal connections are necessary but you’ll have to trust me when I say there needs to be a line between personal and professional.
• A lot of parent conferences
It doesn’t matter if they’ve been requested by the parent or the teacher. If a teacher is in a conference every week then something is wrong. This is almost always a communication problem. There are many reasons for this one and it usually takes a little digging to get to the bottom of it.
At one point or another I’ve been through all of these phases which is one of the reasons they ring bells for me. How do you know if you, or a colleague, is in danger of burning out?
If you feel you are burning out and want to continue teaching, tell me what your specific concerns are and I’ll try to help!