• Lindsay Mangold

"Comparison is the thief of joy."


I have already felt it creeping up on me. Walking through school as teachers start to prepare their classrooms should feel uplifting, but every classroom that has organized materials and completed bulletin boards just made me feel badly about the progress of my own classroom. Why is it that we are so quick to see the preparation of others as a personal failure?

I never heard this quote from Theodore Roosevelt until this week, but it hit me like a ton of bricks. I couldn't help but think about how hard it is to celebrate the success of other teachers without feeling the ping of doubt in myself. Perhaps it is because our work is personal and self reflective. Not to mention, we contribute so much of our own time and money toward the success of our students.

This quote has brought me peace as I kept it in the front of my mind during this week of preparations. Specifically, I love how violated I feel reading the word "thief." I want to protect my joy. I feel robbed knowing that it was taken from me. I feel motivated to acknowledge and shift my mindset. I am on high alert to keep joy safe.

Keep this in mind and teach it to your students. Fill your life and career with the things that bring you joy. Support, celebrate, and praise others without worry. Be gentle on yourself when you don't feel like you are measuring up. Find small contributions that honor your talents. Protect your joy.

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