Teach Me, Teacher
#144 New Year’s Resolutions for Teachers
Hello everyone! We did it... we made it to the last Monday of 2019, and it is kind of unreal. It's time to look ahead, plan for what we want to achieve, and begin the new decade with energy and positivity.
Now, I don't know about you, but I love new beginnings. I love Sunday, because of what Monday has in store, and I love the end of the year because of what the new year has in store. There is just TOO MUCH possibility to NOT get excited.
So with that, I set out to detail what I believe the most important resolutions for teachers will be in 2020. They are as follows:
* Find your own way. Think critically and question everything. Do not just accept what you hear. Try it, apply it, research it. Test it.
* Help others in a way that matters. Just giving others materials or strategies isn’t enough. Help by being a thinker, questioner, and encourager.
* Have the tough conversations. Teaching is hard and detailed work. None of us get better by catering to one another's biases or sensitivities. We have to be able to have critical discussions that lead with resect and end with results.
* Do not blame others—especially students or yourself—for the problems in your class. You are in charge of your room when that door closes, but that does not always mean you are 100% ready for your challenges. If you are struggling, either reach out for help, or keep analyzing your practice and classroom until you fix it. It is ON YOU. Blame wastes time, and it justifies having a class that isn’t amazing.
* Read professional books and research. You are a practitioner. If you want to be treated like a professional, you have to have the knowledge of one.
* Put in the work for the results you want. Do not feel guilty for taking breaks and having no work brought home, or no work weekends, or no work holidays…. IF you are getting the results you want in your classes. If you are comfortable, then enjoy. But if you are trying to push to the next level, if you are wanting more for your career, more for your students, and more for yourself, PUSH. Work-life balance isn’t about doing what EVERYONE is telling you to do. Work-life balance is about doing what balances YOU.
* Ignore the haters. As you push to get better, people will try to hold you back. They will tell you to stop. They will encourage you to take the easy way or the way everyone has always taken. The people that try to pull you down are the people who will not use themselves. People that cannot push themselves to get to the next level hate seeing others do it, and they will hold you down. Many times, this will be friends and family. Ignore them, and keep pushing.
* THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE WORLD wants you to be average, because most people are. But I’m here to tell you to push, hold yourself to a higher standard, respect those who’ve done it before you and use them as mentors. Leave behind those who don’t want to see you succeed and find those who will push you to be better. The job of teaching is impossibly challenging, but you will get from it what you put in. If you’re fine with seeing teaching as just your job, and that make you happy, then I’m happy for you. But if you feel called to do more, to BE more for yourself, your students, and your community, then I hope you face 2020 with a drive to push. It will be difficult, and too many will try to stop you, but you can do it. You can be more for yourself and those around you. You can reach new heights.
Let’s reach them together.
A special thank you to Viewsonic for sponsoring this episode of the podcast! Please check out their amazing resources for teachers here.