December 19, 2012 by k. liz
6 Personal Suggestions:
1. Set goals for yourself. As a teacher, list the things that you want to accomplish. Keep them somewhere that you will see them periodically and remind yourself what you’re really going for.
2. Read about other teachers. Maybe it doesn’t work for you, but I get swept up in books written by other teachers. It is encouraging to hear the real life ideas and activities that other people like you do. I’m not talking about research educational books, I’m talking about essays by teachers for teachers. One that I really enjoyed was: See Me After Class edited by Roxanne Elden.
3. Explore new topics. Following up on number 2, there is a lot of research and writing going on in the field of education. I just finished reading a lot for my grad class, and especially for a paper on focus on form in the classroom. That was something I’d never heard about! But now, I have a lot to think about and incorporate into my classroom. Explore the topics that are trending in our field. A few suggestions: technology in education, dogma, translation in the classroom, error correction in the classroom; and some research on educators such as Krashen, Gardner, Chomsky, Freire etc. (I realize that most of these are not new things, but things that are relevant nonetheless!)
4. Relax. Every now and then take some time away from teaching. Don’t get burnt out. You owe it to your students if not yourself!
5. Evaluate yourself. Evaluate your teaching, evaluate your responses in the classroom (that one would hurt me a lot right now! I am not nearly patient enough!) Evaluate how you are achieving the objectives of your classroom. Evaluate whether or not you are improving. Perhaps every day you can take 5 minutes to document in a notebook the following: What went well today? What went wrong today? What will I do the same? What will I do differently? Just reflecting on your day will give you a different perspective and will make your teaching more meaningful.
6. Love what you do. If you don’t, then find a reason to make yourself love what you do. If you find yourself in a bad position, in a school that you don’t fit in, then find a reason to keep going and to keep going well. Think back to why you started teaching in the first place. Eliminate the negative elements and start counting all of the positives. I know what it feels like to focus on the negative, and it doesn’t help. So instead, look at pictures, the smiles, the faces that you love, remember the things that you want to accomplish with this set of students.
When you wake up in the morning, think of five positive things about the upcoming day.
Before you go to sleep at night, think of five positive things that happened today.
And don’t forget that being a teacher is the
(from the archives)