NOTE: While I’d love for you to read on, this is another dumping of yuck out of my head. Please feel free to move on. Either that or read at your own risk. 🙂


Yup, it’s the beginning of the school year again. How do I know this? Well, my social media has been taken over with the perky, happy, full of energy blogs/tweets/Facebook posts about how great life, how great it is to be a teacher, and how we need to throw 120% of ourselves into our job.


I’ve had two years in a row with some tough stuff that’s gone on in my life, so my attitude isn’t where it should be. And let’s be honest, no one, NO ONE, wants to see me perky! 🙂

I’ve started this blog about six times now, trying to come up with something, anything, of purpose. I love what I do, but despise where our climate is in Iowa and the country in terms of teachers. That will come to roost when we begin our contract negotiations.

I worry about my daughters and the world they are entering as adults. They’ll do amazing things, but I fear one will be lost as she’s quiet and will be lost in the noise, the other lost because she can’t keep the noise out of her head.

I worry about my wife because she’s starting a new job with all of the headaches, heartaches, and just stress in teaching four year olds. Not only is it the students, but a new principal, new para-professionals in class, new teacher in the room over, so many changes in such a short period of time.

I worry that my health issues will consume me. Are two major events in six months time I precursor for things to come? Will I ever feel physically “healthy” again? Can I teach my brain to not lose words and names or will that be my new normal? I can teach my heel/foot to not hurt all the time?

Where do I find the positives? I’m not sure right now and that’s a problem for me because I can always “pluck the rose of the manure” as the Gary Paulsen writes in The Foxman. The manure is pretty deep any more, only getting deeper, and I’m afraid that the roses are quickly getting covered up.

So, I’ll keep writing, keep looking for that rose, and keep trying to keep my head up. That’s what I expect my students to do, and in fact, we watched a little Eric Thomas (@Ericthomasbtc) and he told story that ended with this statement:

He told the guy, he said, “@hen you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.”


That’s a huge statement, and I talked a lot about what this means for middle schoolers. Sometimes, when I hit that preacher mode on attitude and push to do better, I wonder if I’m not trying to get myself pumped up too.

Either way,  enjoy your long weekend, relax, try not to stress about things, and be ready to bring it on Tuesday.