“This year I feel like I’m not even treading water, just barely keeping my head above water lying on my back.”
“Well have you improved your teaching from the beginning of the year?”
“Then you’re swimming, because treading water means you’re not making any forward progress.”
This was a conversation I had around march in my 2nd year of teaching (yeah, that was just this year). It was a conversation with another science teacher who has more than a decade on teaching than me. He creates the impression that he’s jaded and stuck in his ways. But this conversation pulled me right out of my funk, and over the past two years I’ve watched him quietly adapt and change his teaching style.
You could turn this into some cliche about seeing how much farther the shore is or whatever. Cut the fluff – progress is measured from a fixed point. If you’re moving from that point, you’re making progress.