What do you like least about teaching?

You probably have a lot of questions about what it means to be a teacher. You may be wondering if it’s a right fit for you. Is teaching challenging? The answer is yes.

If you were to ask me today, after 3 years of teaching, What do you like least about teaching?, I’d say teaching is time-consuming. There’s a solution to this. I just haven’t mastered it yet. 

I’ve struggled with teaching because I haven’t been in the same school or same grade level every year. Causing me to change curriculums and texts every time since each school and grade level requires something different. 

The first couple of years of teaching, I struggled with classroom management—making sure everyone was in their seat, paying attention, and being respectful while I taught a lesson.

Just when I thought I had teaching under control, I realized that lesson planning continued to be a struggle. I never seemed to have the lessons plans prepared weeks in advance. I always had them ready just on time. 

Not to mention that teaching during a pandemic has added more challenges because it required me to use different formats of learning and adjust to new guidelines such as for attendance and grading.

I wonder if after I accumulate enough lesson plans for different grade levels and stick with my current school, will the time-consuming aspect of teaching no longer be a problem since I’ll be better prepared? Only time will tell. 

What I want to leave you with is this, I think that my least favorite parts of teaching have always been the things that I haven’t mastered yet. And the solution for that is experience.  As the years go by, we have to opportunity to grow. If every year you work on improving a specific area in your teaching, the next year you can focus on something else. 

3 Simple Tips to Help You Be Disciplined

If you’ve ever struggled with discipline you know the struggle is real with getting things done. However, as soon you learn how to apply discipline in one area of your life, it becomes easier to apply discipline in other areas of your life whether you’re studying for an exam, writing a book, or committing to a new habit.

Below you will find 3 simple tips I’ve applied in my life to become disciplined in multiple areas of my life. I hope that you find them helpful!


1. Set a timer

Set a timer to your desired time length. The allotted time helps you focus on the task versus spending double the time on an activity without intention. For example, you can set a timer to draft a blog post, take a nap, or learn a foreign language and commit to only work on that during, let’s say, 15 minutes.

2. Reward Yourself

After you complete the task you want to build discipline in, reward yourself. The reward can be super simple like 5 minutes of checking your Instagram account or dinking your favorite beverage. Writing is often one of my rewards because I love making connections, reflecting, and writing about topics that are meaningful to me.

3. Use a Calendar/Planner

Have you incorporated an electronic calendar into your personal life? I haven’t. I find it more practical to use the paper ones. No matter your choice, a planner because provides structure. Similarly to using a timer, using a calendar or planner helps set a clear purpose for the days and weeks ahead.


Being more organized with your time and creating expectations for those time frames goes a long way when your goal is to become disciplined. And on the days when you need extra motivation, choosing a reward at the completion of the activity will also help you stick with the activity.

Building discipline is sometimes challenging, but remember that at the other end of your effort is a completed-long term goal such as passing an exam, publishing a book, or becoming fluent in a foreign language.

What helps you be disciplined? Have you applied any of the tips above? Did you find them helpful?

One Tip for the Uninspired Writer

The greatest lesson I learned about writing was to treat writing as a conversation. Before then, I thought academic writing was formal, an assignment to turn in to teachers and professors.

Writing can have personality! Treating writing as a conversation took the weight off my shoulders because I could now approach writing as a conversation over coffee.

Looking at writing as a conversation felt like a new concept for me. But it made sense. For a conversation to work, you take turns discussing a topic, you sometimes give a counterargument, and you add points.

When I think of the word conversation, I usually think about in-person conversation and hearing people’s voices and the tones of their voices. We talk about pretty much everything from the weather to our troubles to our loved ones. This also applies to writing.

The underlying structure of effective academic writing–and of responsible public discourse–resides not just in stating our own ideas but in listening closely to others around us, summarizing their views in a way that they will recognize, and responding with our own ideas in kind.

They Say, I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing by Gerarld Graff and Cathy Birkenstein

One of the things that has helped me with blogging on the days when I don’t know what to blog about is approaching blog writing as a conversation. It becomes easier for me to write a post and to ignore the voice in me that says: “You’re out of ideas!”

To give you another example related to this, I remember more than a year when I completed a connotation and denotation activity with one of my classes. I explained to them that denotation is a fancy word for the actual definition of a word and that connotation is the feelings and associations of the word.

To explain connotation, I wrote the word mother on the board, and I got different reactions from my students, some were positive, and some were negative. One word sparked discussion with my students.

So if you’re feeling uninspired, try this approach of treating writing as a conversation. What are your thoughts on something going on in the world today or something that happened in the past? What was the last idea you agreed or disagreed with? If you were having coffee with a friend today, what would you tell them?