We all know this profession is not easy peasy lemon squeezy like folks outside of education suggest. But even if it is difficult difficult lemon difficult, there are still things we can do to maximize our success.
Here are 5 tips to ensure you get the most out of your teaching day, every day!
We expect ourselves to have the perfect lesson, keep excellent control of our classroom, and meet every learning objective. This is amidst all of the grading, lesson planning, meetings, and various other duties we have.
Learn to forgive yourself for a less than perfect performance in any aspect. Be comfortable with your own process of failures, improvements, and best efforts. Forgive any mistake you make when teaching or any lesson that bombs. Carrying guilt will only weigh you down.
Do you believe you can be a phenomenal teacher? If the answer is no, you will always struggle with your day to day tasks. No matter how long you spent training and learning about education, the classroom presents challenges that can never be fully described in a book or college course.
Choose to believe that you are prepared to overcome challenges. Be optimistic in your abilities and understand that even if you don’t have it all down yet, you will.
Oftentimes, educators take themselves too seriously. I understand why too. With all the pressure of society and all of the rules of our ridiculous accountability system, the expectations are at the highest levels in history. It is easy to get caught up in that system and take your seriousness to a new level.
Remember, fun is not just good for your students. It is vital to your pedagogy and to your health. Laughter and joy in the classroom is what keeps you in the classroom, performing at your best. If your lesson plan does not allow for humor and lightheartedness, you will dread your classes more than your students will!
4) Aggressive Pursuit of Progress
When my students describe the kind of teacher I was, they typically say something about how relentless I was. When I say aggressive, I do not mean that you are in your students’ faces, yelling and screaming. However, you want to show your students how much you care about and expect their progress.
Don’t get caught up in expecting perfection. I never aggressively pursued a student to get higher grades or better test scores. I simply demanded improvement. In that demand, students saw that I believed in them, knew they could improve, and also understood that I would reward and be over the moon in excitement for their improvement. Do not stop your pursuit of growth with ANY of your students.
5) Personal Life
The greatest motivator you can give a student is a real life demonstration of someone who prioritizes themselves and pursues their passions. Too many teachers lose themselves in teaching, which only leads to isolation and burnout. You are a teacher, but that is not all that you are.
Feed time and energy into your personal life. Run races, knit sweaters, play video games, bake cookies. Whatever sparks your passion, allow it to grow in your life. Then, make that visible to students! Let them see the side of you that is growing as a person. They need to see that their teacher is a lifelong learner who loves improvement and growth. Then, they will be encouraged to apply it and become more well rounded, capable students in all aspects.