If you find yourself needing some inspiration, take the time to step out of your comfort zone: Attend a conference. Not only will you learn some new strategies and think about your students in surprising ways, but you'll find yourself amongst like-minded teachers. If you're waiting for others to treat you like a professional, treat yourself like one. Although we often have to pay our own way to attend a conference (Grr...), it is well worth the investment of time and money.
This afternoon, I was fortunate enough to present at the California Association for the Gifted (CAG) conference. While an hour felt like an absurdly short time in which I attempted to offer an overview of the applications of improvisational theater, I found myself energized to be playing with (and, of course, talking to) a room full of people seeking innovative options for reaching all of their students. I look forward to working with some of these fabulous teachers in the months to come!