In my classroom is a quote board and I don't care how cliche it may be for an English teacher to have one. The first quote I post each year is by author and poet Sylvia Plath: "I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart: I am, I am, I am."
Not far from the quote board is a portrait of Plath. When seated at my desk poring over lesson plans and pitiful thesis statements, I glance across the room and look into her eyes. They seem to say to me, "Keep going."
While a student at Smith College, Plath once wrote herself a list of Back to School Commandments, beginning with three rules on how to behave around her new beau.
Inspired, I decided to pen commandments of my own for my love and my labor.