Teacher of the Month – April 2013 – Angie Dodd

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12 thoughts on “Teacher of the Month – April 2013 – Angie Dodd”

  1. Congratulations. I think you deserve credit not only for your honesty, but also for your courage. The courage it took to quit and the courage it took to go back. Keep at it. We have all gone down that road one day.

  2. I really needed to read what Angie wrote. I have always had discipline issues and felt like I never got the support I needed. jGR is a huge help, but I also needed to hear what Angie had to say. Thanks Angie.

  3. I think it’s 80% the sickness, and I mean sickness, of the school environment, the way it is set up, authoritarian, with rude kids seeing images everywhere of weak teachers. It may be 20% us tops. It’s an unnatural profession. People burn out all the time.

  4. Hi Angie, I met you in Lewiston last fall, remember? When everyone else was giving you advice on management, I told you it was okay to bail if you needed to, for your health and sanity. You are a trooper and I admire you more than I can say. Good choice, Ben!

    It seems to me that teaching is a good profession for people who want to grow spiritually. Every day it forces me to be assertive, which I am not naturally and don’t want to be. It teaches me humility–just when I think I’ve “got it goin’ on” I get kicked in the teeth, whether it’s by a student or group of students, an administrator, my own incompetence or disorganization, or some ridiculous government mandate. This job makes me tough where I was too soft, quiet and introspective where I was all bluster, and it forces me to be present in the moment when I want to be on automatic pilot like the rest of the world seems to be able to be.

    Some days I’d gladly trade the spiritual lessons for a cubicle and a paycheck. But not often, really.

  5. Wow, Ben, my jaw dropped when I saw that you had named me Teacher of the Month! Who would have thought that out of one of the most painful periods of my life (deciding to leave my first teaching job) would come so many beautiful gifts? I don’t know where this is all going in terms of my career, but I have learned an incredible lesson about choosing health and standing up for my own best interest, not staying in a situation that felt like it was killing me. Because I really felt like I was supposed to stay. I inconvenienced a LOT of people, many of them children. I did not want to be that person. And yet, I wonder if that was the way for me to learn this lesson about being willing to set a boundary, enforce a rule, to be clear about what is and is not acceptable in my presence or in my classroom. Everything, and I mean everything, looks different now. I choose to believe that there was some larger reason for all of this, beyond what I can see and conceive. Laurie Clarq advised me to pray for the students and the school that I left, and move on. I wish them all the health and happiness that I seek. When I walk into classrooms these days I feel a power coming through me. I feel like I have something to offer. And I feel happy and mostly calm, even when things aren’t going “well”. I don’t have a running tally of blame inside my head, I just open my heart to reality and strive to act from my sense of the best interest of the group (and draw from lessons learned from y’all, Fred Jones, etc.). Starting tomorrow I get to spend a full week subbing as a Spanish teacher, and I’ll take your vote of confidence with me as I go forward, striving for that calm, commanding, comfortable, kind, and deeply joyful presence that I believe is my highest self as a teacher.

  6. Congratulations, Angie! Your spirit and insight in difficult circumstances have a lot to teach all of us. Anne is right that our job takes us out of our comfort zone nearly all the time, if we’re doing it right. We have to be the adults in the room, and often the parents. In loco parentis is not just a legal term; it is the reality of our daily existence in a system increasingly designed to produce interchangeable cogs in a machine. Keep bringing that serenity and calmness to your students for however long you have them; it is such a change to the frenetic activity most of them experience.

  7. Ben is right. Angie you truly are, and always have been, a teacher. Look at what you have taught all of us by doing what was best for you as a deeply caring and sensitive human being. You didn’t quit, and I hope that you never see yourself that way. You moved. You moved to a place that was better for you. You didn’t take the easy way out. What you are doing isn’t easy at all. Talk about opening yourself up to the universe!!! You are amazingly real and we are blessed to know you.

    with love,
    Laurie

  8. Anne, I do remember meeting you in Maine and the things you said to me. The folks at that conference made me want to keep teaching so I could be in community with all of you. Thanks everyone for the kind and encouraging words.

  9. Angie,

    Sorry I am a little late on this. I remember meeting you in Maine and feeling so sad for you. I remember the conversation in the room where you were given, mostly by Laurie advice on classroom management. But, nothing could have made you go back to teaching at that time. Because you needed to go through that and to be doing all the great introspection you’ve done. YOU WILL be a greater teacher because of this, despite all the pain and suffering you’ve gone through. Thank you for your candor in sharing those hard experiences. You are a resilient person and you deserve Ben’s nomination.
    All the best Angie, looking forward to your future contributions here.

  10. Angie, I’m humbled by your honesty. All too often, we want to share only the wonderful things that are happening in our classrooms, forgetting though that most of us have to crawl through the mud before we actually get to see the light. I am glad that you were able to take this time for yourself and truly think about what it is you want and how to get it. Whenever you’re ready to jump back in head-first, you’ll be so much better for it. So glad you’re on here!!

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