Many of my blog posts recently have been very reflective. I apologize if this isn’t the original reason you started following this blog. Don’t worry, I still have a ton of fun edtechy and math resources ahead but I also think that it is so important that we reflect and share from our hearts as educators.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been reflecting on our role as educators when working in difficult situations, whether with teachers or students. In terms of this post, I will be referencing students – but you might find that this relates to your role as an instructional coach or administrator, as well.
Basically, I have one simple question:
When difficult situations arise in your classroom, do you respond by giving up or by finding solutions to the problem?
It’s easy to give up. It’s easy to stop. It’s easier to put the blame on the students than trying to find the solution. All of that is easier.
It’s harder to find solutions. It’s harder to be patient and kind. It’s harder to reflect on yourself and your own teaching practices. It’s definitely not as easy…but it’s what best for kids.
Therefore, I want to challenge you with five “Never Stops” to (hopefully) motivate you as you go through your week.
Never Stop Encouraging
I challenge you to never stop encouraging your students. Even when it is hard. Even when they are frustrated or angry with you. Even when they don’t do their assignments or don’t seem to care. Never stop encouraging them because, through that encouragement, they will see that you care. Be kind, be patient and be encouraging.
Never Stop Asking Questions
I challenge you to never stop asking questions on how you can improve your educational practices. Never stop wondering, “What more can I do?” Never stop wondering, “Was there something I could have done differently?” Asking these questions is hard because, in itself, there is a bit of guilt you are placing on yourself. However, these questions encourage you to be self-reflective in finding the best ways to help students learn.
Never Stop Learning
I challenge you to never stop learning. It’s hard to find the time to read educational articles, blogs or books. It’s hard to find the time to attend or present at conferences. Our lives are already so busy and it can be difficult to add more to our already full plates. Yet, if we stop learning, the only people that will be affected are the students. Keep learning and finding inspiration in your career.
Never Stop Believing
I challenge you to never stop believing in your students. Even the students who don’t give their full effort, spend time socializing or use their phones for non-educational purposes. Guess what? Those students – they probably don’t believe in themselves. So, you need to do the believing for them to help them find their way.
Never Stop Trying
Finally, I challenge you – no, I beg you. I beg you to never stop trying. Never stop trying everything in your power to reach your students and to help them learn. Never, ever give up. Students can tell when you have and, if they see that you have given up, then they have no reason to try themselves.
As the teacher, you are their example of a growth mindset. I hope you demonstrate it to them every day.
Did I miss a “never stop”? Share in the comments below!