There are some among us educators who are fearless and confident in our craft. There are others who need the extra ‘push’ in order to shine. This doesn’t necessarily mean that those who do not shine immediately are never going to; it just means that they have a bit of work to do in order to get there.
Even the brightest among us get nervous about their potential at some point in time. The difference is that those who shine are usually the ones who let go and simply go for it. There is greatness in all of us. Educators have the amazing job of teaching others to be better than their last best. This is a rule that we should apply to ourselves too.
A lot of our perceived failures are the result of us not trusting ourselves. At some point in time we expect to do something wrong and guess what? We get exactly what we expect!
Here are a few tips that may be useful in helping you to shine in the classroom. The idea is to think of your classroom as your kingdom. What kind of kingdom are you ruling? Are you in charge?
Trust Your Training
You have spent several years training to be an educator. You garnered the required skills set, gained experience in the classroom and successfully got hired for your teaching assignment. All those things combined have more than adequately prepared you to touch lives and minds when you step into a classroom. Your classroom is your kingdom. Your students are your subjects. You can be mediocre and allow your students to take over your teaching sessions or you can take control and use effective strategies to maximise the learning experience and ultimately dominate your classroom. Remember your training and trust it. There may be loopholes along the way but those can be addressed as you go along.
Your personality is going to shine through in whatever you do. People who enjoy what they do resonate positive vibrations which are easily picked up by those in the immediate environment. Look for things to love about your job and use those to enhance the attitude that you bring to your lessons. Those who enjoy ruling a kingdom show it. It is in their walk, the way they greet others, the purpose in their eyes and the fire in their words that ignite the passions of those around. Attention is easily given to a vibrant personality…Own your kingdom.
We all make mistakes. Some of us are way too hard on ourselves. Accept your mistakes. Use them to become even better. Teachers are expected to be knowledgeable but it is OK to admit that you do not know something. Make a real effort to do some research in order to be better prepared the next time around. There is merit in forgiving yourself, applying the lesson and continuing to get up each time you fall. The fact that you may have made a mistake doesn’t mean that you are a failure. It just means that you made a mistake. Get over it and do better the next time around.
Enjoy what you do. It is good to approach your work seriously but boring if that is all you bring to your teaching experience. Your students pay attention to you. It helps if you are approachable. Laugh if there is something funny but correct it if it will cause harm or create too big a distraction. Laugh at yourself if you make a mistake. That will make it easier for your students to let it go and not continually snicker about it whenever they can. Engage your students by sharing a bit of your experience with them that may apply to the topic at hand. Trust them to respect you and show them respect. Let go of situations in which a student may have been disrespectful especially after it has been resolved. Observe your students. Get to know them. Compliment them. Reward them. Applaud their efforts so they will want to keep shining.
With these simple tips you can enjoy a better relationship with your students. Enjoy the moments and keep an open mind. Remember that even though you are the educator in charge, it is still important to learn something each day!