Look in the mirror and ask yourself this question: “Are you the teacher that you dreamed of being when you are 8, 12,16?”
If your answer is “Yes!” then high five to you and I would LOVE it if you add some comments to this post as to why you feel this way and what you have done to completely fulfill your dreams!
On the other side, I am going to speculate here but, I am imagining that most of us will say “No” but please do not let that ruin your day! The beauty is that we still have tomorrow like I talk about in a previous post. We have a chance to reflect, analyze, and start fresh each day. Now it is time to get to the bottom of why you feel this way. In the Innovators Mindset George highlights several quotes that may help us get to the bottom of this, I am going to focus on 3.
“In no other profession in the world do we watch someone do it for sixteen years and then do it ourselves.” – Bruce Dixon
Wow isn’t this true! How many of you have looked at it this way before? I certainly learned a lot from my teachers growing up! Some good, some bad. Think about this, “How many of you, as you have grown up, had picked up parenting styles, personality traits from your parents that you are not particularly fond of?”
“We often create what we experience, which means the experiences we create in our professional learning must change.” – George Couros
I believe that most of us will say yes the previous question which leads me to the next quote from George. We need to embrace our experiences and find ways to learn and make the experiences of our students/children better. George talks about how “simple” some innovations can be where you take one experience, tweak it, and then boom! Think about this, “What can we do in our professional learning that will enable us to learn and be better leaders for our students/children?”
“There are many reasons why we don\’t model the learning process as adults, but one of the biggest is ego. We feel like we need to be the experts instead of co-learners.” – Scott McLeod
When I think back to my time as a teacher one of the first things that I made a mistake doing was looking to the the authority in the room. I learned quickly that there are more than one way to be the “authority”. The 3rd and final quote was HUGE to me because we HAVE TO CHECK EGO AT THE DOOR. Step back, embrace the process, and be co-learners with your kids and the amount of things you will get done will be inspiring.
Taking bold stances, being strong willed, egotistic can work BUT it is not the only solution. What kind of relationship will you have with your students if you take this route? Is this the teacher that you dreamed of being when you are 8, 12,16?! I would assume not because you can be SO MUCH MORE than that.
Reflecting back, as I shared, I definitely fell into each of these traps. I remember asking my self something similar to “Are you the teacher that you dreamed of being when you are 8, 12,16?” That was the day that I started to flip my class on its head, change the culture, and walk on a new path. Mr. McKean’s path. This path allowed me to be empathetic, listen to my students, let them into aspects of my personal life, rule with a loving heart, relate to them, empower them, and model for them the behavior that I wanted in return. This in turn changed my outlook on teaching and allowed me to impact and teach my kids on levels I had only dreamed about.
One of my students highlights life with me as she joined me for my first podcast for Perspectives in Education. In the podcast our goal is to evangelize education and share amazing stories to celebrate it’s greatness. We want to interview students, parents, teachers, administrators, counselors, researchers, change agents, and the whole gambit of education! Each of us has a story to share, a perspective on education, and we all deserve a voice!