6 Tidbits of Humble Advice To Consider
#1- Beware of AUTOPILOT
I think that we must always be aware of our daily teaching practice kicking into AutoPilot. If you get a sense that your daily teaching practice has gone into AutoPilot mode, it is essential to disengage immediately. Recognizing the signs ahead of time can allow us to press the disengage button and bring some creativity back into our teaching practice.
If we are to feel a methodical boredom in our practice in any way shape of form, it is a warning sign that we may be entering unwanted teaching territory and to press the disengage button as quickly as possible. Seeking out something new to try, reading journal articles/blogs or great passages from educational books can inspire us to try something new. Taking the control wheel in our own hands and navigating our crafts can kick off autopilot mode and get us creatively thinking and quickly back on track.
#2- Our Daily Micro-Adventures
Each and every moment in our teaching is truly a micro-adventure unfolding in unknown ways before us. When we look into the eyes of our students entering our gyms, we can see their excitement.
Together we will learn about these micro-adventures.
It is great to have a planned route for these journeys but we must always remember that our students can and will find their own exciting ways to navigate through these micro-adventures with the final destination perhaps taking a different course. When I look back on my own teaching experiences, some of my best lessons have come as a direct result of these micro-adventures in learning.
#3- When in Doubt Ask or Connect on Twitter
Regardless of teaching experience, we must constantly remind ourselves that it is OK not to
know. During these moments ASK OTHERS for guidance, ideas, and suggestions. I know most of us already do this, but remembering to do it more can never be overstated. If you are already on Twitter connecting with other like-minded practitioners, great! If you are not, I encourage you to take the plunge and join Twitter. You'll find so many great people to connect with and learn from. Your professional journeys in education will be richly rewarded for doing so. I promise!!
#4- Low Motivation Part 1
No doubt that we all have moments of low motivation in our teaching. It's completely natural that this will happen from time to time. I strongly believe in the power of visualization and have practiced this technique with semi-regularity over the years (must do it more though!!).
If feeling a lack of motivation, I recommend that you take 10 minutes to be on your own in a quiet corner someplace. As you sit silently, begin to look back and recall all of those magical moments in your teaching or coaching. Imagine yourself back in that place and time. Soak in the feelings and memories helping to better define what made those moments so special.
For me, it instantly begins to lift my mood and helps me to reflect positively on why I am in the greatest profession of all time. I promise that this will work for you if you try it out with and open mind.
#5- Low Motivation Part 2
When motivation and inspiration go spiraling downward, devote 15-20 minutes of your time to watching inspiring You Tube videos. There are countless uplifting videos that, when watched, can and will help in immediately re-infusing inspiration back into our teaching and lives. It never fails to work for me.
Whatever you draw your inspiration from is an excellent starting point to search for these videos. Perhaps it is a motivational sports video or an educational Ted Talk. Whatever it may be, search it out and watch it when feeling that you need that little bit of lift within your teaching practice. Here is a good one that was once recommended to me. If you are a coach or athlete and haven't seen it, tune in. It is great.
#6- #YOU MATTER
Motivational speaker and educational consultant, Angela Maiers, began a #YouMatter campaign on Twitter a while back. So simple in nature but incredibly important to remember is that every single person has something positive to contribute to the world. As educators remembering that #WeMatter is essential to always take hold of. For some kids, the greatest moments of their day is when they enter our teaching space. Sit back and reflect on who these students may be in our lives and devote your next experience with them to making it the very best it can be.
When we are in the moment of knowing how important we are to students like this, how can that not give us such a huge feeling of professional satisfaction and serve to lift our morale and be very inspiring in nature.
THANK YOU FOR READING. May you all have the best teaching year ever. :)
KAUST Faculty, Pedagogical Coach. Presenter & Workshop Leader.IB Educator. #RunYourLife podcast host.