As I began to set up my classroom for the next year, I had placed the box on my shelf (as I just love pink) and forgot about the items inside. Several weeks later I experienced an extremely challenging day of difficult phone calls, behaviors, a child vomiting in the room, and various other minor issues. I was extremely tired, frustrated, overwhelmed and wondered for a moment, "What have I gotten myself into when I decided to become a teacher?" I sat in my chair, and glanced over at my pink box. For whatever reason, I decided to pull the ribbon open and found to my surprise the precious notes, cards, and trinkets from the previous year. My eyes filled with tears as I was reminded of how very fortunate I was to have become a teacher.
My wonderful intern, Allison, finished her term with me and the class and I passed on the tradition of the "Teacher's Trinket Box" to her. My students and I wrote notes and enclosed a class picture. It was a tradition I was thrilled to pass.
We all have days when we feel overwhelmed and exhausted and we need to recharge and refocus on our profession. My "Happy Box" as I call it...is so very special to me and it makes the tough days all but disappear. Summers are great for that (although we spend a lot of time in preparation for the following year).
What do you do for yourself to "re-spark" your passion for teaching? Are there traditions that you pass on to colleagues? I would love to read any comments on this :)