I think part of that is because I am finally getting reviewed from the principals that are constructive and not just, "You are doing fine. Keep up the good work." The reviews I get include criticism and suggestions about what I can do to improve and what I can try to do to make it more rigorous.
Lately, I've stepped up my game even more.
I've started doing something I've never done often in all of my years of teaching.
I'm calling and emailing parents regularly.
I am calling when students are falling behind, when they are missing large projects.
But the biggest thing is, that I'm also calling and emailing when students are improving and doing things well. It is really rewarding for the parent to hear and for me to hear the joy in the parent as they hear that their child is doing well - sometimes it is the first time they have gotten such a call. It also leads the student to do even better in class.
Today, I made a call for a student who is really on her stuff lately. Her friend was around when I made the call and asked if I was going to make a call to her mother, too, since she had also improved a lot. I obliged and her mother said she was so happy to hear that there was something her daughter was doing well.
And then I walked away singing Ren & Stimpy's, "Happy, happy, joy, joy" song in my head.