Embrace the Fat Bear: Ideas for Teacher Preservation | Darcy Bakkegard | 3 Min Read

December 4, 2023

As we dig into quarter 2, with the holidays looming and daylight vanishing, I invite you to embrace your inner fat bear. 

Let me explain: At a meeting recently, a colleague shared that they couldn’t find their spark. They were drained. Another shared that it felt like they were in preservation mode—just maintaining. Both shared these honest, real experiences with a tone of regret, even guilt. They were frustrated. Typically highly motivated, productive people, both were struggling with this feeling of…not doing. Not being pulled to action and therefore letting down those around them. Of failing. 

Talk turned to the fat bear contest, the National Park Service’s annual tradition to celebrate the bear who’s done the best job of prepping for the winter. We laughed that right now more than the yogic savasana, we needed “fat bear pose”: the freedom to just eat and then take a long rest. And to be celebrated while doing so. 

It struck me that “in preservation mode” should likewise be celebrated. To preserve something is to ensure it lasts. Much of history is only revealed to us through preservation, past and present. From dinosaurs to pottery to cave art,…

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Darcy Bakkegard

Darcy is a change consultant and co-founder of The Educators' Lab. After more than a decade in the classroom teaching English and theatre, Darcy now creates the type of PD she always wanted, driving change in education and empowering teachers as changemakers. Through her work, teachers reconnect with their purpose, rekindle their spark for teaching, and reignite the JOY of teaching and learning. She specializes in professional development design and implementation, interactive strategies for the classroom, meaningful tech integration, and building relationships with students. Darcy holds a Master’s of Secondary Education, is an ISTE Certified Educator, an experienced international presenter, and believer in the power of education. She lives in Fargo, ND with her husband Jeff, and toddler triplets, Kurt, Ben, and Cora.