One of the most common reasons an individual becomes a teacher is to make a difference in the lives of many children or young adults. Becoming a teacher can allow an individual to help influence these children and young adults in decisions and behaviors as they grow older and more mature. However, as much as this is true, it is also worth noting that some teachers actually dread heading into their space everyday.
Here, we will discuss 3 different ways educators can sustain a growth mindset through the everyday challenges of a student teacher. Student teaching may never be easy, but these simple lifestyle and mindset changes can help you stay positive throughout your placement.
The easiest lifestyle change you can make in the work setting is starting a journal. First, start by jotting down the successes you have experienced throughout the day. This can help keep track of what went right throughout the school day so that you can continue the successes you have experienced.
Next, write down the challenges of the day so that you can focus on making the classroom weaknesses into classroom strengths. This can include a number of different topics such as poor classroom discussion, low engagement with the material, etc.
Lastly, you will want to plot out the opportunities that you have to improve upon. These can include detailed goals that you can aim towards or topics that you can gauge as the school year progresses to ensure that your strategy is performing strongly.
Your journal entries can be in the form of a physical journal—break out that pen or pencil—or can simply be a word document. The main goal is that it is easy to access so that you can reference your successes, challenges, and opportunities throughout the school day. This will also allow you to build a habit of journaling everyday to help you decompress after stressful moments and become a reflective teacher. Believe us when we say there is nothing more fulfilling than looking back on how much you and your classroom has grown over a week, month, or years time. You may also come to find that writing a personal journal can help you grow as a person outside of the classroom as well!
2. Find Your Mentor
While it is important for educators to be a mentor for their students, it is also very important for teachers to find their own mentor to look up to. This can range from a co-worker that you may aspire to be all the way to a celebrity that inspires you professionally. Whoever it may be,
finding a mentor who shows enthusiasm and lasting passion for education will certainly help you acquire and maintain a growth mindset.
After defining your mentor, don’t be afraid to ask questions and be honest about difficult moments. After all, teachers like this will inspire you to keep going through the hard times and will celebrate your growth during the good times.
3. Defining Your "Why"
When you are deciding which company you would like to do business with
—whether it is professionally or personally
—you may make a decision by comparing a company's values to that of your own. But, the only way you can do that is by finding your own personal values and converting them into measurable aspects.
This same approach can be taken by a teacher.
Crafting a mission statement for your teaching career can allow you to
be reflective and maintain a growth mindset. To create your mission statement, begin by answering some simple questions about you and your career:
Why did you want to be a teacher in the first place?
Why is this career the right one for you? How are you making a difference in the lives of your students?
Holding on to the core reasons you are teaching will help grow as an educator and push through the stresses. You will come to find that following this three step process will allow you to become a stronger teacher down the road. Lastly, always remember what really matters within your classroom
—creating better learning environments.
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