The Motivated Teacher

Michael Todd Clinton

A Teacher Challenge?


The Teacher’s Challenge

CHALLENGES:  Lately I have heard a lot of talk about different challenges people are partaking in. My sister and brother-in-law are doing some 21 day challenge which includes no alcohol, coffee, and limited carbs. One of my best friends is doing a challenge where you drink a green shake a day for 30 days. YUK!  And myself, I am doing some different minimalist challenges to try to DE-clutter my life.  Needless to say there is no shortage of challenges out there. They could include diets, cleanses, workout challenges etc. The problem is they are challenges, not lifestyle CHANGES.

What I say about most challenges is this, they SUCK! In this Teacher Challenge you are going to learn three reasons why I think most CHALLENGES suck, and then I will tell you a challenge that YOU can come up with on YOUR own to make you a better teacher and your classroom a more positive environment.

Reasons why most challenges do not work:


  1. They are not fun!


Anytime someone tells me “I CAN NOT HAVE or DO” makes me rebel just a bit. Most challenges start out like this: do not eat list, eat during certain times of day, or drink at least one shake a day that includes cabbage, lemon, and vinegar, blah. (Hope your room is close to the bathroom.)

Seriously, these things can not be fun, and if something is not fun and tells  you that you “CAN NOT,” are you really going to be able to maintain this challenge once the 30 days are up? Think about the beginning of time. Eve struggled with DO NOT EAT THE APPLE and you will too.

  1.  They’re Trying to sell you something

Most challenges are created because they are simply a marketing scheme. The business background in me sees exactly why they have created these challenges.  They require you to purchase a bunch of supplements or items that only they offer to perform the challenge. They are marketing their product and usually include a catchy phrase that makes you think it will improve your health by doing this. I promise you can keep reading. I am not trying to sell you anything!

  1.  They DO NOT produce HABITS

Since these challenges are so strict, sucky, and impractical people can’t stick with them long-term, or create habits from them. Heck, most people don’t even make it the entire 30 days without saying well one day won’t hurt if I don’t do the challenge. Then one turns to two, two to five, and there goes all that money out the window with nothing to show for it. Nothing to show for it means that you have no new HABITS that are going to make your life better in the long run.

Let’s go back to the question, “ Why would you partake in a challenge that sucks and is dreadful for you and others in the process?”

BECAUSE you recognize that your life could be better if YOU could fix something. That something may be your weight, strength, cleanliness, organization, overall health, and in this case you teaching career!

My Challenge to you TEACHERS is create your own challenge! If you come up with it yourself, you are way more likely to stick with it. Since I write about teaching stuff I am going to give you some ideas to ponder, but in reality this could be used anywhere in your life. You know I believe in BALANCE, if you didn’t know read this blog: Balancing life in 2017!

The NOT so SUCKY Recipe to a Teachers Challenge:

Below are three things to keep in mind to help you create a challenge for yourself that is NOT SUCKY. You will see I am not telling you NOT TO DO anything. This challenge is specifically for people that want to better themselves and others around them, like your students.



I love the acronym K.I.S.S. (KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID). Whatever your challenge is please remember K.I.S.S. Ask yourself what you need to fix and then CHALLENGE yourself to become a better TEACHER.  Once you have accomplished one challenge then you can move to another just remember to K.I.S.S.




Keep some type of journal everyday. How will you know if you are being successful in your challenge if you are not ASSESSING yourself. I can not read my writing so I keep my journal in my phone. Hey, this could be a challenge, to KEEP A JOURNAL for 30 days, but don’t stop after 30 days make this a habit. You will appreciate everything you learn about yourself and your challenges.

3. Celebrate!


Always make time to celebrate everyday, win or lose. If you win, figure out what made you win in your journal, and if you lose CELEBRATE by figuring out what kept you from accomplishing your challenge for that day.

NIKE IT meaning “JUST DO IT”

In Closing, I CHALLENGE YOU TEACHERS and others working with our YOUTH to come up with your own CHALLENGE, this should be a challenge not something you know you can do. Hence CHALLENGE!  What you will find out about CHALLENGES is by giving yourself a challenge, it will not only improve your classroom but other facets or your life.

Teachers take a second  to reflect on the questions, Who do I want to be in 5 years? What kind of habits would you like to have that would help you be a better teacher? Write this in your journal. Start now creating new habits to influence your lifestyle and your life! MOTIVATE YOURSELF and OTHERS!


Michael Todd Clinton



Categories: education

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