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Steve Strieker writes a blog called “Imagine Wisconsin.” Last year, after the teacher-bashing reached new heights in his state, he felt defeated. He was in a state of grief. All year, he was so disheartened that he wrote only two posts for his blog.
Over time, with the help of family and friends, he pulled himself out of his despair, and he felt revived, personally and professionally.
“During the peak of the grief, however, I questioned my ability to teach. I thought about taking an extended absence. As the school year started, I didn’t know how I would survive. How could I meet the needs of my students when I was so needy myself?
“Through this despair, I have come to realize how strong I used to be and how much I give psychologically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually to my students. After the fog lifted, I could see more clearly now how much strength is actually required to help needy students on many levels. Teaching is not an easy gig.
“Like Boston Strong in the wake of the 2013 marathon bombing, Teacher Strong is my new mantra for 2015. Teaching comes easy to me when I am healthy and strong. I have been fortunate to have been mostly healthy and strong during my professional career.
“Teachers serve students, parents, and our communities in powerful ways. Teaching takes profound strength to serve an increasing number of students with significant socio-psychological needs.
“My period of despair has left no doubt. To teach, you have to be Teacher Strong. What teachers do is important and matters. What I do matters and makes a difference. In 2015, I will not take being strong and healthy for granted. What is my nature will now be nurtured.
“Goodbye 2014. Goodbye Grief. Hello 2015.”