The new school year is upon us.
For most teachers, we've been through this before. For others, the days ahead are uncharted territory.
My first year in the classroom, I started doing something that I never realized would mean so much.
I kept a journal.
I would write down a few sentences almost every night, taking note of the things that happened that day that I wanted to celebrate, things that I needed to explore further, things that frustrated me, questions I had, stories I wanted to remember, and people I met.
For many people, teaching is a solitary journey. Some have referred to it as an island. My journal was a way for me to not feel so alone. As I wrote in my journal, I was processing the events of the day. Questions got answered. Next steps were discovered. It was like a close friend teaching right in the next room.
Another benefit to keeping a journal is being able to go back and reread it now -- years later. Rereading my journal shows me how much I've grown as an educator. It helps me remember the stories that I had forgotten.
So why should teachers keep a journal?
Because our minds are so full that we can forget easily.
Because it helps us find answers.
Because it creates a history. (Imagine your great-grandchildren taking a trip back in time through your teaching journal -- priceless!)
Because it builds confidence.
Because it helps us sleep better. (True!)
Because it documents our growth.
As this new school year approaches, I challenge you to keep a journal. Whether this is your first year or your 21st. Even if you only write one sentence a day.
You'll be glad you did.