Change is never easy, in matter of fact it is one of the hardest things to do. In order for someone to truly change, they need to be motivated. But motivated by what?
That’s my challenge today! Is it possible for me to make others think about what changes they need to make in their own life? I guess I first need to find a focus and that focus will be for teacher. It doesn’t matter if you have been teaching for 1 year and are still new to the profession or if you are a 30 year veteran who is about to retire.
Front of the Class reminded me that teachers can change! After the movie aired on CBS, I received thousands of emails. Many of them were from teachers saying “Thank You” for reminding them the impact they have on children in the classroom. Many teachers like me get so caught up in the paperwork, politics, parent needs, and the curriculum that we sometimes forget why were became teachers. It is for the children! Students must come first!
I know I wanted to be that teacher that I never had. I wanted to make a difference in our schools and help all students believe in themselves and help them learn to the best they can be. But often times we may lose perspective because of high stakes testing during this age of accountability. I’m standing up now and reminding teachers not to forget why they became a teacher.
I also remind teachers that it is never too late to change the way you work in your classroom. Don’t be afraid of change, befriend change! Change can be one of the best things you can do for your students. As teachers, we must be able to change our instruction in the classroom as education changes in society. As the standards change and become more rigorous, so must our teaching practices.
If I was truly sick and had cancer or a chronic disease, would I want my doctor to treat me the same way they treated patients 25 years ago. NO, NO, NO! I would want the latest and greatest that medicine has to offer. Just like the medical field, the education field is changing too. Research has been going on to show how kids learn best and it is important to follow the research in order to give our student the best education has to offer.
Many viewers and reader of my story said Front of the Class reminded them that they need to be a little more patient, a little more aware of what life is like for kids who have challenges in the classroom. Some challenges can be seen by others, but many challenges are not. As teachers, we must learn to communicate with our students and listen to their voice. We need to hear how they learn best. We need to know what they need in the classroom. We need to see that maybe, it is not the child who needs to change, but it is us as teachers who need to do the changing.
I remember hearing once that when I teach in my classroom, only 1/3 of my class learns the same way I do. Most teachers teach the same way they learn. That means we are probably not hitting 2/3 of our class in the most effective way. So, what changes do we as teachers need to make?
Listen to everyone. Listen to the researchers. Listen to moms. Listen to the dads. Listen to administrators. Listen to the new teachers. Listen to the veteran teachers. Listen to my story where I share with others what it was like to grow up being different and all I wanted was to be treated like everyone else. Listen to your students. Because that is who we are here for.
In the “real” world, you would listen to your clients. If you didn’t, they may fire you or just leave and go somewhere else. They may actually give you some sort of advice that would help you in the field or help themselves. In the field of education we need to listen to our students or else we will fail them. It is our job as teachers to make a difference in the lives of every single student we work with. What better way to make a positive change in the life of a child then to just sit back one day and listen.
What changes will you make this year? Will you make these changes for one day or for the rest of your career? I guess it all depends if you are listening to your students.
What’s your New Year’s Resolution?Diet? Exercise? Not watching so much TV? For me, I always found making a New Year’s Resolution kind of funny, because most people jump into their “new” routine and by the end of January or February, they’re back to their “old” routine again. Instead of making a resolution this year, I challenge you to Not Allow “IT” To Win.