Friday, November 14, 2014

In My Teaching Career, I am Grateful to Have Learned...

Day 14 of the Attitude of Gratitude Reflective Teacher @TeachThought Blog Challenge...

1.  "We are all teachers and we are all learners in our learning environment."
Quote written by 8 and 9 year-olds a few years ago.  They taught me a great deal when they came up with this one.  I hang onto it every day.  It helps me remember that we are all sharing this learning journey and creating new learning together.

2.  You are never going to 'catch up' so stop putting pressure on yourself to do this!
There is ALWAYS going to be more to do.  You will burn yourself out if you try to catch up constantly and even worse, try to get ahead, whether it's with planning, or whatever.  Planning, by nature, is an adaptable day-to-day proposition.  That's what is so fantastic about what we do.  Our students' learning changes rapidly, and so does ours.  Are you there for your students? Do you care for and respect them and take time to get to know the awesome human beings they are.  Do you take time out to talk with them?  You could be using this time for planning and paperwork!  Really, though, let's refocus and put the students back at the heart of what we do - focus on them.  Yes, planning is important so that learning needs are met, but letting students know how much you value and appreciate them is key and, for me, the most important aspect of what we do.  I need all of them to know that they matter.

3.  You don't know what you don't know.
You don't have to know everything!  You're not expected to.  You're a learner too - that's what is so cool about what we do.  We get to explore thinking and new ideas and learning every single day and spark that love of learning in our students.  How cool is that??!!

4.  That you need to trust that you are doing the absolute best for your students and that's there's always more to learn to meet their needs.
We put a lot of pressure on ourselves - are we doing enough? What can we do better?  Are we meeting individual student needs - both learning and social?  Are we good enough?  We're our own toughest critics, especially those of us who have perfectionist tendencies!  We need to ease up a little.  Often we're so good at boosting and encouraging others.  We need to be our own champions sometimes too.

5.  Connections are key - human connections and passion for what we do.  
You can have all the knowledge and skills in the world, but if you aren't passionate about what you do and you can't connect with your students on a human level and know them as special and unique individuals then maybe this isn't the best profession for you.  If it's all about the grades and assessment then we're missing the point. 

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