I rode bareback today. First time in years, back to my roots, the way I learned to ride. My first horse was a big thoroughbred mare and I didn't have a saddle. It didn't stop me from learning how to ride her bareback. Today, I was reminded how enjoyable the basics can be. Less time to get ready and more time to just laugh, smile, and enjoy the moment.
I get home from school, or a day of parenting and I am tired. I want to ride my horse but all the work to get ready makes it more tiring, but get back to the basics. I threw on a bridle and hopped on bareback. No lifting the saddle and getting it all together, just hop on and ride.
In a way this reminds me of teaching. As educators we get caught up in the pressures of the expectations, curriculum, and more added tasks of the job. We have to be caught in this mix of overwhelming craziness, but take a breath and look at the basics. Teachers spend a lot of time prepping, planning, searching, researching, and juggling all the other stuff that is expected. Take a minute and think about the basic reason you are teaching. Laugh with your students. Have fun with your students. That laughter is what they will remember when they hear your name.
A student doesn't understand the complicated process of teaching. They just know(or should know) that their teacher loves and cares about them and the classroom is a safe, fun place to be and learn. Often the weight of all the to-do lists that keep getting longer weigh on us and can trickle down to our students. Leave the weight on your desk, take a breath and go back to the basics. Remember your why. Why are you a teacher? Why did you choose to work with children? Remember the why, because the why will remind you of your basics. It will help lighten the load for a little bit, and maybe even remind you to laugh and enjoy the students you have!
So I am going to keep riding bareback, relax, and enjoy it. Life goes too fast to spend it stressed, on edge, and not enjoying your job. Hug your students, tell them you love them, and make a difference. Leave an impact, and hopefully it is a good one!