A few years ago, I completed a certificate as part of my master's degree with Johns Hopkins called "Mind, Brain, and Teaching." The program was developed from the book The Brain-Targeted Teaching Model by Mariale Hardiman. Among the 6 "targets" is creating an optimum physical classroom learning environment and evaluating learning. This book is a series of practical, research-based steps to support teachers of students of all ages.
I started volunteering at my church's food pantry a few weeks ago. I now have some extra time to volunteer because I'm not teaching. It's been humbling.
I've received more from volunteering than I feel I've given. For one thing, I've learned how to collaborate.
Every morning when I entered my classroom, I opened the shades to our large windows. I don't know why that's the first thing I did, but it became a habit I enjoyed. Few people were at the school when I arrived, so opening the window shades became a personal, quiet ritual.
I've been a teacher for almost a decade now. I taught kindergarten and first-grade for the past seven years. This past year, I experienced burnout, so I decided to take time away from being a classroom teacher.
My burnout was due to many reasons. These include changes in policies at my school, increased student social-emotional challenges, lack of opportunities to advance and grow, and more.