Don’t Just Survive, Thrive!


I detest t-shirts that insinuate the school year is something to survive. Don’t just survive, thrive! I’m noting four things an educator can do to thrive during the beginning, middle, and  even end of the school year.

First, you need to connect with others. You can do this through Twitter, Voxer, professional organizations, at EdCamps, and in your own building. Being a connected educator has given me many ideas, mentors, friends, listening ears, and ways to reflect.

Second, be positive. There are so many more positive things to share than be bogged down by the negative. Find ways to share those. I make a daily #GoodNewsCallOfTheDay for a different student each day. This is one of my favorites parts of the day. During the summer I count the days between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next with my #95DaysOfGWSummer daily Tweets. Finding and sharing the positive, however small, gives me an appreciation for even the simple things.

Next, have some fun. If you are dreading going to work in the morning or are counting down the days until school is over, then it sounds like you need to have more fun. If you haven’t read “Teach Like A Pirate” or “Lead Like A Pirate”, you’re missing out. These books have inspired me, and countless others, to find our passion and bring joy into our work.

Finally, make some changes. Maybe you can infuse more technology into your teaching, leading, or learning (like engaging students or staff with Quizlet Live or Flipgrid), plan for flexible seating, or even flip your staff meeting. If you’re just surviving, make some changes and start thriving! There are lots of folks out there who can help you learn and make positive changes to your teaching or leading.

Don’t just survive, thrive next school year. Connect with me on Twitter @PrincipalFrench and I will help you find ways to bring more joy, passion, and fun into your teaching or leading.

One thought on “Don’t Just Survive, Thrive!

  1. Hi Mark,

    Very well said! I like how you share your disdain for these T-shirts but also offer advice to anyone who feels like they are merely ‘surviving’. I couldn’t agree more with this post and your suggestions. By implementing your suggestions, teachers will find their passion again, continue learning, and thrive this year.

    Thank you for making these important points!


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