Posted in Humor, Self-Care

Confession: Glorified Sticker Charts Still Motivate Me

I don’t know how to put this any other way. I am a 32-year old woman, and I am still motivated by sticker charts and marble jars.

Everyone remembers when they were in elementary school, there was always a sticker chart or a marble jar to help motivate students to act like civilized human beings/not drive their teacher crazy. In the end, there would be some kind of prize. Hell, I still use that system in my classroom for my students. For some kids, it works; for others, they couldn’t care less about the damn marble jar.

Here’s the thing…that method still works for me.

Once I had a friend ask me what the purpose of a Fitbit was. “Why do you need to track your steps and exercise? If you know you’re working out, why does it matter? What do you even do with that information?”

The purpose is to motivate people like me who like to see a physical goal written down and then visually achieved. For example, Fitbit and Apple. I have since moved from Fitbit to Apple Watch (thanks to Santa Carlos), and let me tell you, closing the rings is my only objective throughout the day. I will do some crazy shit to make sure those rings get closed every single day. Is there a prize at the end? Nope, but the circles are whole, and that’s all that matters to my Type A mind. Right now, it’s almost noon, and two of my rings are already closed…I’m pretty thrilled with life right now. It doesn’t take much.


It’s not even just fitness. One of my goals is to meditate every day for at least 10 minutes. I use the Calm app and guess what they have a calendar and put a little blue dot on the day if you meditate that day using the app. I love it when my calendar is full of little blue dots.


Even when I’m working, I’ll make a list for myself. The goal to finish the things on it before the end of plan time. Seeing those little stars or checkmarks, I give myself really lights me up.

I think we should bring back more sticker charts. Stickers for making it into work, stickers for getting out of bed, stickers for going to the gym instead of happy hour. Think I can get everyone on a sticker chart bandwagon? Probably not…but I’ll still try.

So in this season of making resolutions (and probably breaking them), get yourself a sticker chart and see if that motivates you.

Posted in Humor

What Teachers Really Want for Teacher Appreciation Week

Credit: flickr Julie ann Johnson

It’s almost Teacher Appreciation Week and while I love the cute little gifts and hoards of coffee mugs I will receive this week. Here’s what teachers would really want this week:

1.) Actual Appreciation. Not once per year, all year. Appreciation for not losing it every time a kid talks back. Appreciation for using our evenings and weekends to plan and grade. Appreciation for taking the time to write comments on homework that kids will never actually read. Appreciation for keeping 28 little people safe every day.

2.) An actual lunch break. 30 minutes, hell maybe 45 minutes if we are dreaming big right now. I want to be able to pee, heat up my lunch, and eat it, not just choose one.

3.) Bathroom breaks. I don’t want to be concerned that I drank coffee and a smoothie that morning and won’t have another bathroom break until 1pm. I want to drink as much water as I want without timing how long it will be until my next bathroom break.

4.) Decent Coffee. I love having coffee in the breakroom, especially on days where I’m exhausted, but like most offices, it’s the cheapest coffee you can buy in bulk. It tastes terrible. Will I drink it? Absolutely. Do I wish it was something that didn’t taste like burnt dirt? Absolutely.

5.) Respect. You know what teachers love more than anything? Having people tell them “It must be nice having summers off.” or better yet “You shouldn’t complain about your pay, you get summers off.” Sure, I get summers off but a lot of that time is spent thinking about the next year or hell recharging from the fact that I spent the rest of the year working thanklessly 60-70 hours per week. I work really hard, educating children. Teachers are so much more than teachers. We are teaching character, we are being impromptu therapists when they are sad, peace negotiators when they are having issues with their peers, nurses when they puke in our room. It’s an exhausting job and sometimes we just want the rest of the world to acknowledge this.

Hug a teacher this week, buy them a cup of coffee, and give them a bathroom break if you’re in the school. Teachers, take care of yourself this week and every week. Take a breather, put the stack of grading down, and give yourself some quiet time. May is a real doozy.