Everything changes.  We had state standards in 1997, No Child Left Behind in 2001, and Common Core in 2009.  Keeping up gave me whiplash.  No more.  Now I stay focused on my own standards.  The educational winds will blow where they will, but I stay focused on the kids in my classroom.  I move forward because I’ve decided what’s important to me and what’s best for my students, even knowing that more change is just around the corner.

Everything’s connected.  Your lesson on commas, quadratic equations, or the scientific method may rock, but if your student has had a fight with his mother, has broken up with her boyfriend, or has no food in the house, the quality of your lesson is irrelevant.  The whole child comes to the classroom.  You can almost never fix these problems, but  knowing they exist can make you a more caring educator and create an atmosphere of compassion in your classroom.

Paying attention.  Teachers are smart, and we have a sixth sense.  We know when someone is texting, when a student is lying about a plagiarized essay, or when the admin team is about to pull a fast one. But to our detriment, we often ignore other truths right under our noses, especially when they benefit us as teachers or humans.  What if you paid attention to the view outside your classroom door, the sky when you pull into the parking lot, the smell of the trees on your way to the office, the line between investing in the new policies or letting them go, or the signal that your body gives when it need rest or relaxation? What then?  

Practicing the reality of these three truths will improve your classroom experience and, quite possibly, bring you just a squinch more peace. TZT