I had the honor of presenting at TeachersPayTeachers’ 10 year anniversary event at their office in Manhattan this past Saturday. Since the theme was 10 Years of Inspired Teaching, my session topic was on how to maintain a growth mindset in order to stay inspired.

TpT 10 year anniversary

Photo credits from the top going clockwise: MathTechConnections; GlitterMeetsGlue; TpTAmy; MsDuffysDream. Click the photo to see them all on the Instagram #TpTinspiredteaching hashtag because I’m the woooorst at remembering to take pictures.

Let’s face it: by this point in the school year, everyone is TIRED. It’s hard to muster up the energy to push through problems, especially when things that used to work with your students suddenly don’t seem effective anymore. You have 2 choices: stay in survival mode and just try to make it through the last weeks of school, or dig down deep within yourself to remember WHY you teach, and use that vision to help you keep going.

I wanted every person who attended the event to leave with a reminder of why they teach, and to have a clear vision for their work in the classroom. And I want each of you who are reading this to know your vision, too.

So, I created a couple of prompts to help you cut through all the nonsense that steals your joy, and return to the source of your motivation. I incorporated a few motivational quotes that have inspired me personally, and then turned the entire idea over to Art with Jenny K, who created this beautiful visioning poster:

A free visioning poster for inspired teaching

Download the poster for free from Jenny’s store

I encourage you to take just 5 or 10 minutes to print out this poster and reflect on WHY you do what you do. Then hang the poster up in your classroom or display it somewhere else that will help you tap back into your vision on those tough days when you’re just hoping to make it through. This poster can also be used in staff meetings or professional development as part of a visioning exercise for teachers.

Free visioning poster for teachers

Click here to read Jenny’s post and see more uses for the poster

In keeping with the “stay inspired” theme, you can get my best selling growth mindset lessons which have now been used in thousands of classrooms all over the world.

This is my favorite resource out of everything I’ve created because of the feedback teachers have left sharing how it’s changed their lives and the lives of their students. It would be a great unit to end the year with, and then re-use again in the fall with your new class.

I recommend using the unit conjunction with Art with Jenny K’s growth mindset collaboration poster, which is super easy for teachers, fun for kids, and will make a lasting impression as a hallway display.

Growth Mindset Unit: 10 complete lessons, interactive journal for students, growth mindset bulletin board, and printable posters.

growth mindset collaboration poster

You might also want to check out the eBook version of Unshakeable, which has an entire chapter on how to create a vision for teaching and tap into it when you’re feeling discouraged. There’s going to be a free online book club for Unshakeable this July to help you reconnect with why you teach.

Summer 2016 book club for Unshakeable: 20 ways in 20 days...enjoy teaching no matter what!

Lastly, check out my guest post for TpT on growth mindset shifts, which will help you identify any self-defeating thoughts and replace them with growth mindset thoughts that are empowering and energizing.

Cultivate a growth mindset and enjoy teaching more

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! Would you share your vision for teaching in the comments? What gets you up in the morning and motivates you to push through the challenges you face?

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My journey from teacher to teacherpreneur

May 1, 2016
My journey from teacher to teacherpreneur 2 (1)

I’ve been meaning to share this story for years, because I get asked a LOT about my journey and how long it took me to get where I’m at right now.  The short version is this: I’m a National Board Certified Teacher with 11 years of classroom experience. In 2009, I turned my passion for helping […]

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#IntentionalConnectivity: a {free} 21 day challenge for teachers

April 24, 2016
Intentional connectivity challenge12 copy

It’s the first thing you do when you wake up. It’s the last thing you do before bed. And it’s the default activity you fill your time with all throughout the day whenever you’re bored, procrastinating, or just want a little hit of something that makes you feel good.  It’s what you do when you […]

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Using fiction books to help kids connect creativity with STEM skills

April 21, 2016
Gillian King-Cargile Photo

  What happens when kids use fun fictional texts that have a basis in science, technology, engineering and math as a springboard to explore the science behind the fiction? This week, I’ve invited Gillian King-Cargile, Director of Northern Illinois University’s STEM Read program, to share her observations with a fifth grade class. This post is brought […]

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8 keys to avoiding teacher burnout (part two)

April 17, 2016
8 keys to avoiding teacher burnout (part two

If you are feeling burned out right now or just a little crispy around the edges, I want to reassure you that your feelings are normal, that you can handle the responsibilities you’ve been given no matter how overwhelming they seem, and that the rewards of teaching outweigh the costs. Last week in episode 15, I […]

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Earn Your Future Digital Lab: free financial literacy program for grades 3-12

April 13, 2016

In honor of Financial Literacy Month this April, I’m featuring a fantastic financial literacy program in the form of an interactive curricula called the Earn Your Future Digital Lab. It’s presented by the PwC Charitable Foundation, which supports education and financial literacy. This comprehensive financial literacy program is designed for students in grades 3-12 to empower kids […]

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8 keys to avoiding teacher burnout (part one)

April 10, 2016
happy teacher at blackboard background

My inbox is typically bursting with messages from overwhelmed teachers. Help! I can’t do this! I feel so inadequate—it’s just too much for one person and I don’t think I can teach anymore. The situation is so bad—I’m thinking of just quitting. Each person who has contacted me was searching for the same thing: reassurance […]

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Teacher tees for the end of the school year and summer

April 6, 2016
Happy last day of school shirts for teachers (and kids!)

I started Angela Watson’s T-Shirts for Teachers on a whim just over a year ago. Some commenters on my Facebook page mentioned they’d love to have tshirts with the funny and inspirational sayings I share on social media. So I thought, why not have some fun with it and experiment with some fun teacher shirts? I added […]

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10 tips for conveying bad news in a parent-teacher conference

April 3, 2016
Young mom with her daugher at psychologist consultation

It’s the conversation we all dread: telling a parent their child a) is failing a subject, b) needs to be tested for a disability, c) doesn’t have any friends, or d) all of the above. Your stomach is twisting and turning just thinking about having to confront the parent. So, what do you do? Here […]

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Download a free classroom STEM toolkit & win a visit from Steve Spangler

March 30, 2016
Download a free classroom STEM toolkit and win a visit from Steve Spangler

Want more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) resources for your classroom? CITGO is teaming up with renowned educator Steve Spangler to bring STEM learning to more schools across America through a sweepstakes with some really awesome prizes. What you can win If you are one of the first teachers to enter, you can receive a free […]

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6 ways to prevent your students from misbehaving for other teachers

March 27, 2016
Students in my Classes

There are few things that annoyed me more as a teacher than picking up my students from P.E. or lunch (or having a small group return from a resource room pull-out class) only to discover that some students had been completely out of control while they were gone. With some classes I taught, it seemed […]

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Class Tag: A free app for organizing parent-teacher communication

March 23, 2016

I’m always looking for the best tools to help with parent-teacher communication: organizing volunteers, classroom activities, conferences, sending reminders, and so on. So when ClassTag approached me about checking out their new app, I was excited to see what they have to offer and share it here with you. ClassTag is a cloud-based app designed for […]

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Stop overworking Future You: why NOW is the perfect time to make changes in your classroom

March 20, 2016

One of the big principles that we’re always coming back to in The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club is that implementing small changes right away is more effective than hoping you’ll feel like implementing big changes later on. We often make the mistake of assuming that our future selves will somehow be less stressed and […]

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4 ways I sabotaged my success as a teacher (and how my thinking changed)

March 13, 2016
SABOTAGED red Rubber Stamp over a white background.

There’s no question that being a new teacher is tremendously stressful. But when I reflect on my teaching practice and how it evolved over the years, I realize that I created a lot of my own stress simply through the way I chose to perceive my work. The mindset that I held toward my students […]

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10 simple ways to create more class time for instruction

March 7, 2016
10 simple ways to create more class time for instruction

Every teacher needs more class time. And every year, it seems like there’s more and more content that needs to be covered and less time to teach it in, due to excessive testing and other distractions. Fortunately, there are some easy ways you can create more time for teaching. There are lots of things happening […]

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Responsible rewards: using the “now-that” principle with students

February 28, 2016
Teacher With College Students Giving Lesson In Classroom

In last week’s Truth for Teachers episode, I explained why ‘reward’ isn’t a bad word and argued my case for why they can be an integral part of your classroom practice. I talked about how a district administrator criticized me during a surprise walkthrough and why I think that teachers, of all people, know how […]

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Should teachers reward students for doing what they’re “supposed” to do?

February 21, 2016
reard students2

I wanted to do a Truth For Teachers episode about how to reward students responsibly: how to reward them in a way that considers the long term results and the type of character and work ethic we’re building in kids, not just how to get compliance here in the moment. And I realized that before […]

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How to let go of expectations around testing so it feels less stressful

February 14, 2016
test expectations1

This week I’m addressing a question submitted by a teacher named Anna. She writes: Hi, Angela, in your book Awakened, you mention how often our expectations steal the joy from teaching. Thoughts like “they’re supposed to do or know that already” can keep us stuck. This was a life-changing realization for me and really eye-opening. However, […]

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6 ways to make co-planning lessons more efficient

February 7, 2016
6 ways to make co-planning lessons more efficient

Lesson planning is too important, challenging, and time-consuming to try to do ALL of it on your own. This is especially true if you’re a new teacher, or new to the curriculum, standards, or grade level. It’s wonderful to utilize the experience of other teachers and time-tested instructional strategies so you don’t have to spend […]

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Build vocabulary and literacy skills with shared book readings

February 3, 2016
Dr.Susan Neuman | Build children’s literacy skills with a shared book-reading program

Today I’ve invited Dr. Susan Neuman, Professor and Chair of Teaching and Learning at New York University, to talk about the benefits of shared book reading programs. Dr. Neuman helped establish the Early Reading First program and the Early Childhood Professional Development Education Program, and was responsible for all activities in Title I of the Elementary and […]

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