Monday / April 22

Bloom Where You’re Planted


You can listen to this blog post on audio by clicking the play button above.

It is the nearing end of the school year and everyone is exhausted. Some students have already “checked out” and others are just putting the time in until that last bell rings. Teachers? Well, the ones I have talked with feel the same as the students! Everyone agrees it is time for a break! Here is a way you can BLOOM so the last few weeks of school are more fun for you and your students.

1. FOCUS on your strengths.

My story of blooming where I was planted relates to a time when my school burned to the ground and I ended up teaching in a portable classroom behind the destroyed building for a full year. It was horrible and overwhelming. When I wanted to quit teaching, a friend gave me a card with the words: “Bloom Where You’re Planted!”

I thought about those words and my strengths as a teacher. Then I moved into action doing what I do well instead of focusing on what I didn’t have. This shifted my perspective and the experience showed me that I could teach anywhere and with no materials!

List three strengths you bring to teaching. Use them now.

2. FOCUS on your growth. 

It is so easy for us to just keep looking at what is not working well and complain about the overwhelming situations at our schools. It is what human beings do. It takes conscious and intentional effort to pause and reflect on the places you have grown during some very challenging situations.

List two ways you have grown this year. Acknowledge yourself for this growth.

3. FOCUS on you.

Teachers are incredibly busy. So if you are even reading this blog, you are already taking a bit of time to focus on something that is of interest to you. Congratulations! Now take another positive step and assess what YOU NEED right now. What would make you feel more joyful, rested, or peaceful?

List one way you will meet a need you have. Do that now.

Take the time to nourish and nurture yourself so you can bloom where you are planted for these last few weeks. Reflect on your strengths, focus on how you have grown this year, and do something kind for yourself – it will keep you blooming to the end of the year. Your students will appreciate you too!

This post was inspired by Lesson 2 from my new book, Teaching With Light: Ten Lessons for Finding Wisdom, Balance, and Inspiration. You can listen to my story on Episode 2.2 of the Teaching With Light podcast.

Written by

Carol Pelletier Radford is the founder of Mentoring in Action, an organization dedicated to the success of novice teachers and their mentors. Before she established her own organization to support mentors and new teachers, she was a veteran elementary school teacher and a teacher preparation leader. Carol is the author of Corwin’s bestselling books Mentoring in Action: Guiding, Sharing, and Reflecting With Novice Teachers and The First Years Matter: Becoming an Effective Teacher.  Carol received her Education Doctorate from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, where she focused her studies on mentoring and teacher leadership. She is also a certified yoga teacher who practices meditation and shares mindfulness strategies with educators through her online courses and website. Her podcast Teaching With Light features the stories of teachers and inspirational leaders. Her next passion project is the creation of a Teacher Legacy Network, where retired teachers can share their wisdom with the next generation of teachers.  You can learn more about Carol, find free resources, videos, meditations, courses, and all of her books at 

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