Being a second year teacher and on the younger side, I'm fairly young in the education world. So you can imagine that I still like to socialize with friends and family quite often. I am what you might call a “social butterfly,” but by no means am I a social media whiz. So I use what tools I am good with in talking with others, mainly Facebook (FB), Gchat, Gmail, texting, and talking on my cell phone.
In the year that I considered absolute insanity, my first year of teaching, I found myself out of state and out of touch with my family and friends. Although I saw them most weekends, I realized after two or three months that those groups of people weren't the one's I needed most. It was my fellow colleagues. Yes, you need family and friends to get you through the rough times personally, but they aren't the ones that you should be turning to for rough times professionally. They mean well, but are usually looking at the situation in the wrong light. Only those in our field can truly understand what you as an Ag teacher are going through.
We are usually running at a million miles a minute, and when you need to talk to someone about how a kid, administrator, or community member set you over the edge, you just won't get the same satisfaction talking to your Dad or best friend about it. They don't get it! They'll sympathize or say they understand, but they don't, and that's ok. Call, FB, Gchat or go have a beer with your fellow Ag teacher. Afterward, I don't quite understand it myself but, you just feel like a ton of bricks has been lifted off your chest when you talk to someone who has been there and done that. And 99% of the time, you'll laugh about what ever it was that was bothering you when it's all said and done.
On the lighter side, when something in class, lab, or on one of our never-ending field trips, happens that makes you almost pee your pants from laughing so hard, other Ag teachers want to hear about it. Don't just call up your teacher-friends when something bad has happened, because after a while, they are going to ignore your calls because you've become a “Debbie Downer.” Share the good, the bad, and the ugly. We're all in this overwhelming ocean of Ag Ed together, so hop in the boat so you don't drift away and loose your mind. Since I am only in my second year of teaching, I may not be the best or most wise person to hand out advice, but I feel this is my area of expertise.
Last year I went to the edge of that boat and dove off head first. I don't recommend it.
Post written by Katy McGovern