Do you embody everything you need to so that you can be the best teacher you can be? Sometimes we get bogged down with life. We get in a rut. The last thing we want to do is improve because it is much easier to wallow in our misery… it could even be fun. But there comes a time when we must get up and dust ourselves off, don’t let yourself fall into the abyss. Today’s blog post is introspective. I really like to dig deep and make conscious choices. I am mindful in being present and today I hope that I can help you examine your attitudes, beliefs, and mindset as a teacher.
“If our attitudes, beliefs, or mindsets about teaching, learning and our students go unexamined,
the consequences can be pernicious for some or many of the young people we teach.”
Sousa and Tomlinson
Differentiation and the Brain: How Neuroscience Supports the Learner-Friendly Classroom
Learning Journal: Everyone should keep one
Get yourself a learning journal friends. Something that you want to use all of the time. Something that reminds you of being a good teacher AND a good student. My journal is this simple one I bought when I visited the Harvard campus. There is just something about old school buildings that get me all excited inside. It reminds me that what I am doing is purposeful and I hope your journal gives you the same feelings. I keep my reflections and book notes in this journal. Grab yourself a cup of tea and let’s get started.
Your Attitude Towards Teaching
The following questions will give you insight into how you view teaching.
Think about the first time you knew you wanted to be a teacher, when was it and why did you choose teaching?
Now that you are in the classroom is it what you thought it was going to be? What is what you imagined and what have you learned that you didn’t know before?
What would you tell a new graduate about entering the teaching profession?
What is Your Learning Mindset?
If you want a growth mindset classroom and you want your students to succeed you need to first take a look at yourself. Let’s try this little exercise. Stop what you are doing and watch the video below. Watch the video and give yourself 15 minutes of learning time. After record yourself playing a single paradiddle as fast as you can. Ok, set your clock for 15 minutes of learning time, grab yourself 2 pencils and let’s start drumming!
Record yourself playing a paradiddle and assess yourself based on:
Did you get the rhythm correct?
Was your tempo quick?
Were you quick and rhythmic like the drummer in the video?
Let’s evaluate your mindset.
What emotions did you feel and where did you feel them in your body?
What thoughts went through your mind as you were working on the activity?
What reactions did you have? Hold on to them and write them down.
Evaluate your ideas for a fixed or growth mindset. If you are telling yourself fixed mindset phrases help yourself reframe them.
How do you feel about your students?
Your expectations for students WILL influence your thoughts and behavior. This is proven, so make the conscious decision to really believe in each students abilities. Watch the video.
Do you have high expectations for all of your students?
Watch your nonverbal cues towards your students are you being positive towards all students?
Are all of your students getting your attention?
Are we giving all students positive and differentiated feedback?
Is your classroom culture positive? Do all students feel valued and respected?
Self reflection as a teacher is critical for both your own professional growth as well as your students success. Teaching is such a noble profession. I admire everything you do and I hope this little post helped you examine your attitude, beliefs and mindset about teaching and learning. Keep your head up high, trudge through, there will be good days and there will be bad days but you are making a difference and I appreciate you!
Do you want to have a workshop based on this post? Here are the materials so you can run one at your school.