Making each day count is a tough thing to do
There is no question that, as educators, most of us strive to have maximum impact every day that we teach. However, the reality is that bringing that same intensity every day is an incredibly difficult thing to do. Obviously, there are going to be days when we are in the flow and feeling good about our teaching, but other moments can be quite the opposite.
No doubt that there are a plethora of external factors that can disrupt our teaching and lessen the impact that we have. At times irrational constraints and pressures can be thrown our way from a variety of directions including from above. Those making important curriculum and assessment decisions sometimes have no idea of the realities that teachers face in the classrooms and gymnasiums of our schools.
Although these factors can be very much outside of our control, we must not forget that, ultimately, the people we serve are our students. Doing what is best for them must always remain of paramount importance in our programs. Often times our biggest obstacle can be ourselves. We must constantly be evaluating our own mindsets, assessing our levels of motivation, and doing whatever it takes to keep our fires lit. Easier said than done? Yes!
However, being aware of potential pitfalls and habits that do not serve our teaching well, is an important part of the teacher reflection process. If we are to maximize the impact that we have on our students, we need to care for ourselves first and foremost. So, what are you going to get rid of this week that is not serving you or your teaching well? I'll be thinking about this myself as I enter the last week before holidays. Thanks for reading.
A thought proving piece Andy. As I advance beyond the 20th year of my teaching career I have come to realise that sometimes (with workload requirements) that teaching is often seen as the least important thing that I do. As a teacher I sometimes feel that with pressures to assess, and rewrite curriculum policy, and take school fixtures or apply for research funding etc. meant that I didn't have time to really invest in the lesson. That is not that I didn't strive to my upmost but I would, occasionally, like hours (plural) to plan all my lessons. I guess the thing I would like to develop is the tendency to open email and then put it on the to-do pile. I would like to get in the habit of opening email once and then dealing with it and this, I think, would help me squeeze a few extra minutes out of each day to out into the important things I do (often which isn’t email). Thanks for the reflection Andy, seasons best, Ash
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KAUST Faculty, Pedagogical Coach. Presenter & Workshop Leader.IB Educator. #RunYourLife podcast host.