Sunday, August 21, 2011

1st Day of School Thoughts

This was one of the slides in my "Next Steps" presentation. The original source of the quote was this post from Paul Bogush, which I love.

We may spend a lot of time planning lessons, managing the classroom, communicating with parents, all important components of the craft of teaching. But when it comes down to it, who we are in every moment is the greatest teacher of all.

Am I a learner?
Do I do what I expect my students to do?
Am I a reader?
A writer?
Do I own my mistakes and try to do better the next time?
Do I take risks?
Do I listen well?
Am I a critical thinker?
Do I treat others the way I want to be treated?

With that slide, I read the following, from the book Reflective Practice to Improve Schools
"You can genuinely teach only who you are. In these demanding times, it is easy to slide to a place of feeling as if you are never enough. But who you are every day, how you create meaningful learning experiences for students, the positive energy you choose to bring to your work is enough. It is more than enough: It is an enormous gift to the world around you. By maintaining a focus on reflective capacities that expand and improve your personal practices, your influence on others expands as well. Just remember to place your own oxygen mask securely in place before assisting others."

Take care of yourself so that you have something to give. Be mindful of your own practice of learning and reflecting, communicating, collaborating, creating and, most importantly, being a human being relating to other human beings. Because, at the end of the day, that is what matters most.

image credit: Silvia Tolisano


Jewlearn-it said...

I really think this could be the best advice a teacher could get to start a new school year. We get so much caught in all the logistics of orchestrating our classes that we do not have time to take a deep breath in and connect to our inner being.
Your post just reminded me one of the most enjoyable classes I ever had. I will write about it one day. Your post should be a great continuing conversation. I hope other educators finding as inspiring as I have.

Unknown said...

In your post it sounds like you are really passionate about education. This is really good advice to give a teacher. All of what was said is like a guideline and if you follow it then I believe you can be really successful.

Hannah Still said...

The message that you were trying to relay definitely got through to me. I often say things without thinking of how they apply to me. As an aspiring teacher, I should not make this mistake. Thank you for your advice.