Have you ever thought about the reality that the sun never rises? It is the earth that rotates to face the sun. You are the earth-a teacher. For many of your students you are the earth, moon, and stars.

This month, take a moment for yourself and reflect on your mindset. Focus on your successes. Be proud. My mentee and I began our school year with a list of realistic expectations: ask for help, focus on your journey, savor every moment, and sleep. Your role as a first year teacher is to grow; support student learning; and be open to inquiry, reflection, and change. My role as a mentor is to provide ongoing support – instructional and social-emotional. While sitting in my mentee’s first observation, my heart swelled with pride and excitement for observing an “earth” that is full of fresh air, moments, and a journey of wonder. Educators have a hard job. We are never given enough credit for planting the forest of trees we cultivate each year. However, today, there is a fellow educator in Greenville, South Carolina cheering for you. There is a fellow educator in the trenches with you. There is a fellow educator that sees the earth rotating to face all of the suns in your classroom. You are seen, heard, and respected. My grandmother used to say, “An oak fought the wind and was broken. The willow bent when it must and survived,” a quote from The Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan. Educators are willows destined for survival. Teaching is a wondrous marvel, but like the earth, my friend, you have to turn your eyes toward the journey.


Tammy Goodlett is a multicategorical special education teacher with nearly a decade of experience at the secondary level. In her current position at Hughes Academy of Science and Technology, Tammy instructs students with intellectual, learning, and emotional disabilities with a focus on life skills and supported employment, and collaborates with other educators and school leaders to ensure an equitable learning experience for all students. She earned her B.S. in psychology and M.A.s in special education and educational leadership, all from the University of Phoenix.

The Elevating Teachers blog is a platform designed to elevate educator voices. It’s a space to share stories and tips for maintaining a sense of purpose and wellbeing in and out of the classroom.

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