Why Journal?


You’re a teacher.  You’re super busy.  You don’t have the time or energy to write in a journal.  Right??  That is exactly what went through my head when someone recommended journaling to me.  

To be honest…I’ve never really been a great journal-er.  This dates back to when I was a kid, way before I ever even thought about becoming a teacher.  Every so often, I’d decide that I was going to keep a journal.  For a few days, I’d write in one of those cute little notebooks that had a tiny lock and key, and then completely abandon it and find it months later, at the bottom of my closet.  Fail!  And I can’t exactly use the “too busy” excuse for my 11-year-old self, can I?  

Anyway, the point is that I have never exactly been a dedicated journal-er.  But fairly recently, I have taken up journaling and I L-O-V-E it.  And if you are a teacher, you will L-O-V-E journaling, too.  Here’s why!

1.  Stress relief!  There is something so therapeutic about sitting down to write or type out your thoughts after a long day at work!  I always have so many thoughts buzzing around in my head about what has happened at work, and what I need to do at home.  Writing down what’s in my head allows me to let go of those thoughts so I can enjoy my night at home and also sleep better.  

2.  Keeping memories.  I’m not sure if it’s because so much happens each day at school, or because I just have a bad memory, but I am not good at remembering things!  And when I say “things,” I don’t mean that I forget to pick up bread at the store (I have a to-do list for that!).  I mean “things” like the funny answer one of my kindergarteners gave, or how much fun I had during a weekend hiking excursion.  Keeping a journal helps me remember all these little moments.  The My Teaching Life daily journal prompts help me focus on the positive and remember to write down the hilarious moments!

3.  Clarifying your thinking.  When I have a problem, writing about it often helps me solve it.  Having to turn my jumbled up thoughts into written words helps me clarify my thinking about the problem.  This is especially great when I’m struggling with a student who has a learning or behavior problem.  Sometimes I inadvertently come up with possible solutions just by journaling about it.  The same goes for personal problems, too!

4.  Knowing yourself better.  Teaching is all about learning…and this includes learning about yourself (as a person and as a teacher). If you write down your thoughts and feelings and look back at your entries at a later date, some patterns of your own behavior might jump out at you.  Are there certain triggers that make you stressed out?  How does your energy level change throughout the school year?  Keeping a record of your thoughts and feelings helps you learn more about yourself as a teacher and a person.

5.  Setting and achieving goals.  I once read that writing down your goals makes you much, much more likely to actually follow through and achieve them.  A journal can be a great place to write down your goals and dreams (both teaching and not teaching related).  Just the act of getting your goals down on paper serves as motivation.  Plus, you will have a written record of your progress as you work toward and ultimately achieve your goal.  And it’ll be pretty cool to be able to look back on your journey!

So…did I convince you to start journaling yet?!  I sure hope so!  If you need a notebook to get started, check out the My Teaching Life journal for teachers.  It’s unique because each page has a question at the top to help inspire your writing.  What I like to do is get started writing by answering the question, and then just write about other work and personal things after I’ve answered it.  You can learn more about the journal by reading {this post} or by clicking on the image below.

My Teaching Life Journal Image

Happy journaling!


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I’m Alison, a literacy specialist. I love getting kids excited about reading and writing – and sharing teaching ideas with other teachers!

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