The common complaint I have heard that, in my opinion, binds all of these teachers together is the feeling that they aren't appreciated by the people that should be thankful for the hard work they put in day in day out. Even amongst the teachers who say things like "I don't need convocation to pump me up. My light bill is my motivation." Still have an idea of how they should be celebrated as teachers.
I invited my content leader into my classroom today to observe what I was doing. Not only did I get quality feedback. He praised me on things I didn't even fully realize I was doing and provided me tips on how to be more effective. What else? A personalized letter thanking me for the invitation complete with praise and ways to polish my instruction. It felt good. It made me want to do better. It made me happy to be a teacher.
Generally speaking I'm not as upbeat and hopeful when it comes to education. I don't quite feel like myself these days. Perhaps I can encourage a kid to fight another kid or throw something during class? Maybe that would recenter me and we can all get back to "normal."