Saturday, January 24, 2015

FIRST POST and What I Mean By Teaching With An Open Heart

Since I'm not sure anyone will actually read this blog, I have this weird feeling I might be writing to myself.  I'm okay with that.  As I have contemplated the idea of writing a blog, I definitely considered the fact that it might not be popular and I decided I didn't care.  :)  Writing helps me sort things out and I want to remember all the stories of my teaching days and this is now a place to record them.  If nothing else, I can read this blog when I'm an old lady and smile and cry.  

However, if you're a real live human being and you're reading this right now, here goes.  I'm writing this blog because I love being a teacher.  I love it so much. But, at this moment in our society, being a teacher has become a pretty complicated enterprise.  There are a lot of demands and sometimes it feels like we're expected to accomplish miracles without a lot of support. I see a lot of amazing teachers who are discouraged and leaving the profession or seriously wondering how long they can do it.  And, that breaks my heart.   So, I want to offer some hope to my fellow teachers.  I'll be honest about my joyful moments as a teacher and I'll also write about my darker days.  

My firm belief about this world is that there is nothing more important than connection.  We all need to be understood, to be validated, to know that we're not alone, to know that others are on our side, to feel we have a tribe we belong to.  Maybe this blog could be a place that could give teachers a little bit of that. That's my hope.  

By the way, I think if you're a human being who is not employed as a teacher, you could very well still like this blog.  In the end, it will be about human connection and stories.. and those things are really for everyone, right?

What's the title all about?  I think the most important quality a teacher can have day in and day out is an open heart.  If your heart is open, a lot of great things can follow- an open mind, compassion, creativity, passion, understanding, patience....I'm not suggesting for one minute that I always have an open heart when I'm teaching.  It's what I aspire to, though.  When I am teaching with an open heart, everything goes better- my lessons flow, I connect with students, we all have fun, kids are learning. If there are problems, I'm more patient and able to cope with whatever comes up.  

If my heart is closed on a particular day- I'm just grumpy or a students is really on my nerves or I'm dwelling on some difficulty related to my job, the teaching does not flow.  When my heart is closed, the pain sets in- for me and my students.  So, I try to teach with an open heart.... I try......

One more thing before I sign off today and hit the scary "Publish" button for the first time.  Why the name "Miss"?  First, I want to remain as anonymous as possible so I didn't want to  use my real name. Obviously, my friends and family will know who I am when they read this but I'll ask them not to use my real name if they comment.  The main reason behind the name- I teach middle schoolers who are new to the country and they most commonly address me as "Miss".  In fact, sometimes I hear it so many times in a day, I want to scream.  But then I remember how lucky and privileged I am to teach these incredible kids, so I crack my heart open a little more and decide I love the sound of "Miss!"  

So, I invite you to read and I invite you to comment...  More to come....


  1. I'm a writer by nature, and naturally a person who shares, so way to go! I have a website and also always wonder who out there in the aether read it, but it doesn't matter. It's the cathartic process that matters!

    I look forward to reading your posts!

    I love to teach, science at Augsburg's rochester campus. I also feel the same, if I go in upbeat I teach very well, but there have been times when some students complain overly, or administration imposed some dopy conditions about grade distribution despite a class full of all stars.

    I just had a year's break, and now I'm ready to go again.

    Blog on! I'm interested in your perspective.

    1. Good luck with your teaching! So important to be upbeat when you walk into that classroom. When I walk into the school in the morning, I check my frame of mind and try to leave other worries behind. I tell myself that for the next several hours I'm responsible for guiding children in the right direction, making them feel safe, loved and helping them learn. Let me know how your teaching goes.

      Miss :)

  2. I'm a teacher and agree that our profession at a difficult moment in America for teachers. I'm excited to read your blog; thank you for putting your thoughts and experiences out for the whole world to learn from.

  3. You are a fantastic teacher, and I can't wait to continue reading your experiences!

  4. Thank you, Holly.That encourages me a lot! :)