a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


I sat in utter despair.

Why don’t they want us to feel successful ever?  Would it be that detrimental to test scores if we felt a modicum of success now and then? 

The words, “I don’t have time to give teachers positive feedback,” repeated in my head.

Every time I was sure I had gathered myself together, the tears spilled over the edge of my eyelids. 

At the end of the day, I walked by a classroom to hear teacher pitted against teacher over evaluations.  Talk escalated to verbal attack. 

On my way back to my classroom, I was stopped by another teacher,  “Do you have a moment?  I just need to cry.”

A few minutes later another teacher walked into the room and burst into tears. 

This is the aftermath of a typical Monday after school staff meeting.


  1. Oh, Christy. I'm so sorry. What is happening to our profession?

  2. I'm sorry Christy for the words, and for those so needed that aren't there. You must be a great source of comfort for colleagues. When I had tough times, I always focused on the students, the best part of our work!! Best wishes for better days.

  3. I love Linda's advice above. Focus on the students. We've had similar experiences at staff meetings. It'll suck the soul right out of ya. Sorry that happened. Surround yourself with kids and colleagues who get it.

  4. How can they expect teachers to survive in such an atmosphere? This breaks my heart that you are subjected to this when you have poured your heart and soul into your classes. I'm afraid that those voices will break the best of the teachers and then where will the students be? Stay strong!

  5. Wow. Just. Wow. I can't imagine teaching in an atmosphere like that. "I don't have time to give teachers positive feedback" Really????? Stay brave. Stay strong.

    Maybe your teachers need to start giving each other positive feedback. Is that something that could happen? Little post it notes of encouragement left on a desk or in a mailbox?

    Whatever happens, keep the kids first. Keep finding little moments to celebrate. Hugs across cyberspace.

  6. Sigh. Big deep heaving sighs. You know I get it.

    We must kill the voice in our heads so we can hear the whispers of the students...the ones who say, "Wow, class is over already?" (yes, it does happen)

    We must kill the voice in our heads so we can see the lightbulbs flickering on, one by one, some dimmer but growing brighter...and we must nurture that light by affirming them, even when our own tanks are on empty because no one thought to fill us up.

    You must kill the voice in your head that keeps you from being the best you we know. And we, likewise must slay that same voice in our heads.

    We must make it through, if only to prove the bas*****s wrong.

    Each of us must kill that voice that robs us of joy, defeats our purpose, and feeds into the myth that kids can just "teach themselves." The kids need us as much as we need them.

  7. Isn't the leadership rule number one: Take care of your people? Is there any way to change the leadership?

  8. This shouldn't be happening (in schools or anywhere). I'm sorry you're dealing with this... that so many teachers are dealing with this. Educators should be working together, not against each other.