Difficult and Beautiful Work

The beauty, challenge, and emotion of working in the classroom.

Difficult and Beautiful Work
Photo by Andre Hunter / Unsplash

TGIF Teacher Newsletter


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In today’s newsletter…

  • Teachers share the beauty and challenge in their work.
  • How to handle emotional moments in the classroom.
  • Learn how to forgive yourself.

The News

Here are some articles and resources that grabbed my attention.

  • Difficult and Beautiful Work - Teaching is a tough job that involves managing many tasks and battling decision fatigue. We navigate student behavior and surprising events like lockdowns and serious mental health situations. On average, teachers have a growing negative outlook toward the profession. I wonder how your experience compares to the teachers profiled in this article.
  • Getting Emotional - In my first year of teaching, I had a student spit in my coffee cup while I was out of the room. To say I was filled with emotions would be an understatement. Working through emotions in the classroom can be a complex task, especially when you face the potentially humiliating experience of crying in front of students out of frustration, shame, anger, or loss of control. A few strategies for understanding and managing these emotional situations include recognizing early signs of emotional escalation, practicing cognitive reframing, and approaching situations with curiosity and care.
  • Power Move—Imagine starting each class with a power move that builds learning momentum and engages students. Learn how to incorporate effective "previewing" and "dive-in" strategies for kickstarting lessons, from debunking common misconceptions to using interactive maps and visual data. It emphasizes the importance of strong starts to lessons, which can be key to combating student disengagement and fostering an active learning environment.
  • Resource - It’s officially March Madness. Although it’s a little late to fill out your bracket, using a tournament bracket with students can boost engagement across the curriculum.
  • Social Wisdom - Explore Wow Notes, Educator Wellbeing, and building math confidence in students. Social media gets a bad rap, and in many cases, rightly so. There are some great finds available if you know where to look.
STRONG Teacher Toolkit
Here are some of my favorite resources, ideas, tools, services, and miscellaneous gadgets and goodies that keep me STRONG in both my personal and professional life.

Ideas, resources, tools, and free downloads to make your teaching life easier and more enjoyable.


Personal Development and Wellness Resources

  • Turn Down the Heat - Did you know that venting your anger might make you angrier? A new study reveals that arousal-reducing activities like deep breathing, mindfulness, and meditation are more effective at decreasing anger than traditional "blow-off-steam" methods.
  • Real Food - A study published in the British Medical Journal reveals that high consumption of ultra-processed foods is linked to increased risk of anxiety, depression, obesity, metabolic syndrome, certain cancers, and premature death. Just eating real food goes a long way toward improving health and quality of life.
  • Forgive Yourself - Sometimes, it’s easier to forgive others than to forgive ourselves. Self-forgiveness can be learned. The 4 R’s can help you overcome past events.


"I don't know if I continue, even today, always liking myself. But what I learned to do many years ago was to forgive myself. It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live, you will make mistakes- it is inevitable. But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, 'Well, if I'd known better I'd have done better,' that's all. So you say to people who you think you may have injured, 'I'm sorry,' and then you say to yourself, 'I'm sorry.' If we all hold on to the mistake, we can't see our own glory in the mirror because we have the mistake between our faces and the mirror; we can't see what we're capable of being. You can ask forgiveness of others, but in the end the real forgiveness is in one's own self. I think that young men and women are so caught by the way they see themselves. Now mind you. When a larger society sees them as unattractive, as threats, as too black or too white or too poor or too fat or too thin or too sexual or too asexual, that's rough. But you can overcome that. The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself. If we don't have that we never grow, we never learn, and sure as hell we should never teach."— Maya Angelou

Teacher Commuter Playlist - Express Yourself by Charles Wright

Favorite Things

  • Rucking - I just received my pack and went on my first ruck. Here's how it went.
  • Great Word - Coddiwomple - Def. To travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination. Example - Some days in the classroom, it feels like we're all coddiwompling together.

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