Skip to main content

August Blues, September Energy

I started teaching when I was 21, right after graduating college. So like many other teachers, there hasn't been a single August that I haven't spent preparing to go back to school. When August 1st rolls around, I come to terms with reality: my summer vacation is over. No longer can I stay up late every evening and ease into my morning each new day. No longer will I run around with my kids, alternating parks and play dates. I join the rest of the working world.

Luckily, every year, about a week into August,  the "blues" turn into excitement. This yearly shift confirms to me that I chose the right job. I think it's good to bolster this excitement though with a few reminders about why I got into teaching. I teach math, but it wasn't my love of Algebra that made me pursue teaching. Frankly, learning Algebra isn't the most important part of a middle school student's life (Shock!). I strive to teach my students many things besides factoring, empathy, valuing friendship, how to function in the real world, the importance of Neil Young, just to name a few. I learned recently, that these sort of skills are called "non-cognitive skills," at least by author Paul Tough.

So with these goals in mind, here is a list of things to listen to or read that invigorate me for the new year and help me keep my focus of the bigger picture: Kids are awesome, they are impulsive by design (which also makes then great at learning new things) and mine is not their only class.

1. Listen to Back To School - This American Life
2. Read about adolescent brain development - it is essential to not take poor decision making personal
3. Read about the ACE study - students have complicated lives and families which make an impact on their progress. How can we help them along?
4. Remember what it was like to be their age - read this short article and answer the questions. Oh and maybe listen to one more episode of This American Life.

This year I am adding a goal: Listen more than I talk. If you know me, please check in with me in October to make sure I am sticking with it!


  1. Love this, Regan! Thank you for sharing it with me. I'll look forward to reading/listening to these things.



Post a Comment