Educator Island

Jillian DuBoisBlog, Connect Better, Engage Better, Manage Better, Self Care Better


  • There is a commonality to all reality shows: Each episode tries to promote success attached to future outcomes. 
  • A new idea for an educator reality show: Educator Island where contestants would increase each others’ collective confidence, self-worth, and strength into a renewed hope to return back to the passion that once fueled their creativity and craft.
  • Challenges should be collaborative, purposeful, and composed of expert exchanges of ideas and pedagogy. 
  • We do not need a reality show like Educator Island to work collaboratively, be encouraging, helpful, and inspire each other. We have our PLN (Professional Learning Network) or PLF (Professional Learning Family) now. Reach out if you need support!

I LOVE reality tv shows.

The cheesy, throw-people-on-an-island-with-no-food, race-around-the-world, crazy-housewives-who-can’t-smile, meet-your-prospective-soulmate-in-front-of-millions, and my personal favorite: sing-your-heart-out-in-front-of-Luke-Bryan shows that attract millions of followers on a weekly basis. I can almost hear the judgment now. That’s okay, I understand.

Why does this type of entertainment draw me in, allowing me to lose all sensible intelligence? For me, it is an escape, a diversion, and a distraction. 

I can toss on my comfy yoga pants, put my hair in a messy bun, and not have to THINK. No students. Or grading. No considering what went wrong or right that day. Just me and my hours of nothing but amusement in the disparity of others’ circumstances.

No one will leave you stranded on Educator Island. Reach out, send an S.O.S. We will see you. You are not alone. Click To Tweet

Not exactly the best use of my spare time. But there is something that brings comfort. As I sit here and wonder further, it occurs to me that there is a common denominator among all of these public showcases.

Each episode is trying to promote success that is attached to future outcomes. Honestly, that does not seem like true reality, but instead, a fictitious idealism that usually doesn’t end well. The humans involved are earnestly real, irrational at times, yet desperately seeking something to bring joy and contentment to their lives. There is something relatable there. 

Educator Island

This leads me to contemplate creating a reality show just for educators. I’m going to call it “Educator Island.” Now, of course, it will go no further than this blog post, but a girl can dream, can’t she? 

In this show, contestants will be dedicated educators from around the globe. The tired, the stressed, the burned-out, the disillusioned, and the frustrated. Here’s the difference. The goal of the show would not be to narrow the exhausted educators down to one, lucky prize winner. Instead, it would increase each contestant’s collective confidence, self-worth, and strength into a renewed hope to return back to the passion that once fueled their creativity and craft.

When I consider any educator over the course of the past year, I would firmly argue that we should all qualify as contestants on this show. Imagine the applications that would flood in to be selected for this experience. Once chosen, visualize the concept of a group of committed educators, despite their previous hardships and obstacles, brought together to cheer each other on with support, encouragement, and words of affirmation. They would be secluded, perhaps on a tropical island, masterfully ready to tackle any competition laid before them.

Educator Island Challenges

Challenges for the group would be strictly collaborative, purposeful, and be composed of expert exchanges of ideas and pedagogy. The cooperative mentality would infectiously spread as each contestant begins to recognize their value with grace and determination. They resist surrender. They declare positivity and optimism to be the new standard. Also, they build relationships that are essentially grounding to their practice. 

Here’s the catch. There will not be a declared winner. Participating educators will walk away with newly heightened significance, innovative approaches for the classroom, and a firm resilience that will carry them forward. Hopeful aspirations will propel their methodologies and empathy will extend beyond any boundary. Each will leave the island with tenacity and fortitude intact.

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Now that I think about it, there is no need for this reality show. We are LIVING it in real-time. It’s called our PLN (professional learning network), or as it has come to mean to so many of us, PLF (professional learning FAMILY). 

When we are tired, disillusioned, and frustrated, who do we turn to? If you are fortunate, your PLF is that collaborative support. We are not isolated, but rather enveloped in encouragement and advocacy in each direction we look towards. We’re able to collectively lean into those who will inspire and motivate us to do the hard days. We are all in this together, helping through the tough times, and cheering on the successes. 

No one will leave you stranded on Educator Island. Reach out, send an S.O.S. We will see you. You are not alone.

About Jillian DuBois

Jillian DuBois currently serves as an elementary school educator in Clearwater, FL. She has worked both in public and private educational settings for over 20 years. Her passion is to initiate, instill, and infuse joy to those in educational leadership through blogs and podcasts. Jillian uses her voice to help foster hope for student equity and empathy. Outside of school, you will find Jillian outdoors, soaking up the sun and surf, or finding new paths to hike with her husband and son. You can visit her website here!