Teaching is a tough profession. In fact, the only way to learn how to be a teacher is to teach, to make mistakes, to learn from them, and to improve your teaching practice so that you find something that works for you.
I know that I have felt like a failure time and time again at the end of a school day. It actually took me five years to figure out how to be a teacher. I distinctly remember that smiling at the start of my fifth year and saying, “I’ve finally got this. I know what I’m doing now.”
But since then, I have continued to learn. Some lessons don’t work. Some days are better than others. Each class and each school is different.
My job as a teacher is “to help every student develop to his or her full potential. To develop intellectual potential and provide opportunities for social, ethical, emotional, physical, and aesthetic development of every child in my class, and by extension, the entire student body whenever the opportunity presents itself.”
That is my Mission Statement, My first duty is to the student. Simple and plain.
I don’t try to please everyone as a teacher. It’s pretty impossible to do so. However, this year I have finally realized that teachers do need to be politicians as well. We need to let people feel confident that we can do the job and that we support what they want to see. This goes for parents, principals, other teaching staff, etc.
People don’t want to hear negative things. So as a teachers, we need to emphasize the good things.
A former principal told me it best. She said. “Be your own cheerleader and highlight the good things that happen in your class.”
This goes a long way. If people see the good things that happen in your class and you downplay the negatives, people won’t be able to focus on the bad things that do happen in the classroom.
I expect a lot from my students and I hold them accountable for their actions. We work hard in my class and use our time efficiently. Of course, I don’t tell anybody this. I don’t try to sell my class. I just do my job to the best of my ability and I don’t worry about what people think.
I’ve never wanted to be a politician. I have kept that role out of my teaching practice and quite possible to my own detriment. It is something that I plan on correcting starting today. From now on I am selling my class as the best. We are going to show off all of the good things we will be doing this New Year.